plebiscite

[ pleb-uh-sahyt, -sit ]
/ ˈplɛb əˌsaɪt, -sɪt /

noun

a direct vote of the qualified voters of a state in regard to some important public question.
the vote by which the people of a political unit determine autonomy or affiliation with another country.

Origin of plebiscite

1525–35; < French < Latin plēbīscītum decree of the plebs, equivalent to plēbī (for plēbis, plēbēī genitive singular of plēbs, plēbēs plebs) + scītum resolution, decree, noun use of neuter of scītus, past participle of scīscere to enact, decree, orig., to seek to know, learn, inchoative of scīre to know
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plebiscite

British Dictionary definitions for plebiscite

plebiscite

/ (ˈplɛbɪˌsaɪt, -sɪt) /

noun

a direct vote by the electorate of a state, region, etc, on some question of usually national importance, such as union with another state or acceptance of a government programme
any expression or determination of public opinion on some matter
See also referendum

Derived Forms

plebiscitary (pləˈbɪsɪtərɪ), adjective

Word Origin for plebiscite

C16: from Old French plēbiscite, from Latin plēbiscītum decree of the people, from plēbs the populace + scītum, from scīscere to decree, approve, from scīre to know
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for plebiscite

plebiscite

[ (pleb-uh-seyet, pleb-uh-suht) ]

A vote of an entire nation or other large political unit on an issue of great importance. A plebiscite is not an election, for there are no candidates. Rather, people vote yes or no on a proposition.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.