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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use referendum in a sentence
One immediate effect is that Shoprite’s call is being discussed as a referendum on the state of Nigeria’s economy which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdown measures.Africa’s largest retailer is looking to quit Nigeria but its exit strategy is still unclear | Yomi Kazeem | August 6, 2020 | Quartz
Local ballot measures include a referendum on North River Farms, a mixed-use development on agricultural land, as well as an initiative that could limit Council members and the mayor to three four-year teams.North County Report: What We Know About the November Ballot So Far | Kayla Jimenez | August 5, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
There are many also on the Remain side, on my side of the argument, who lost, who accept that a referendum was inevitable, or accept that a referendum was mandated by Parliament.
He explains why he called for the referendum that effectively ended his political career.
Or, who knows, maybe we’re going to get so stuck we have to go to a general election or a referendum and that might mean a different outcome.
In secret, before the referendum, the council went ahead and fluoridated the water anyway.
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.
And randomly selected panels are well suited to political questions that we might otherwise addresses through a big referendum.Is It Time to Take a Chance on Random Representatives? | Michael Schulson | November 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In particular, a video of an apparently inebriated Morgan has embarrassed supporters of the referendum.
A majority of the voters voted in the affirmative at the referendum election held in January 1956.Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia | Dorothy M. Torpey
The referendum is the submission of every issue to the people.Ethics in Service | William Howard Taft
I've got news too—the referendum was eight to one for strike—and the national's wired that John Dawson's on the way!Mountain | Clement Wood
One reason for this result was that the verdict was given in a general election, not in a referendum.The Canadian Dominion | Oscar D. Skelton
Having achieved that status the Irish people may by referendum freely choose their own form of government.The Evolution of Sinn Fein | Robert Mitchell Henry
British Dictionary definitions for referendum
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
- See also (for senses 1, 2) plebiscite
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
Cultural definitions for referendum (1 of 2)
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.
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.”)
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.