- the principle or practice of referring measures proposed or passed by a legislative body, head of state, etc., to the vote of the electorate for approval or rejection.Compare initiative(def 4a).
- a measure thus referred.
- a vote on such a measure.
Origin of referendum
Examples from the Web for referendum
In secret, before the referendum, the council went ahead and fluoridated the water anyway.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
The month of May will see an Irish referendum on the legalization of same-sex marriage.
In February, Slovakia will have a referendum on whether marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman.
In particular, a video of an apparently inebriated Morgan has embarrassed supporters of the referendum.Ganja Vs. Geezers in the Sunshine State
November 3, 2014
The ratification process on the proposed government became in large part a referendum on Washington.Washington’s Wheeler-Dealer Patriotism
October 31, 2014
Advised his congregations to adopt the recall and referendum.Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to Date
The referendum is the submission of every issue to the people.Ethics in Service
William Howard Taft
In practice the Referendum has acted as a check to advanced legislation.Face to Face with Kaiserism
James W. Gerard
For references on the initiative and the referendum see p. 420.The Governments of Europe
Frederic Austin Ogg
“Nullification” was the name which this referendum soon acquired.Expansion and Conflict
William E. Dodd
- submission of an issue of public importance to the direct vote of the electorate
- a vote on such a measure
- a poll of the members of a club, union, or other group to determine their views on some matter
- a diplomatic official's note to his government requesting instructions
Word Origin and History for referendum
1847, "a submitting of a question to the voters as a whole" (originally chiefly in reference to Switzerland), from French or German, from Latin referendum "that which must be referred," literally "thing brought back," neuter gerundive of referre "to bring or take back" (see refer). As a gerundive, it has no plural in Latin; referendums is preferred in English.
A vote by the general public, rather than by governmental bodies, on a bill or some other important issue; a plebiscite. (See under “American Politics.”)
A direct popular vote on an issue of public policy, such as a proposed amendment to a state constitution or a proposed law. Referendums, which allow the general population to participate in policymaking, are not used at the national level, but are common at the state and local levels. A referendum is often used to gauge popular approval or rejection of laws recently passed or under consideration by a state legislature. A referendum can also be used to initiate legislative action.