plebiscite

noun
pleb·​i·​scite | \ ˈple-bə-ˌsīt How to pronounce plebiscite (audio) , -sət also -ˌsēt \

Definition of plebiscite

: a vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal especially on a choice of government or ruler

Other Words from plebiscite

plebiscitary \ ple-​ˈbi-​sə-​ˌter-​ē How to pronounce plebiscite (audio) , pli-​ ; ˌple-​bə-​ˈsī-​tə-​rē \ adjective

Examples of plebiscite in a Sentence

They are going to hold a plebiscite on the question of national independence. The issue will be decided by plebiscite.
Recent Examples on the Web Chileans will decide whether to adopt or reject the constitution in a nationwide plebiscite on September 4. Jorge Engels And Jack Guy, CNN, 4 July 2022 Nor are faith and religious belief the sort of things that are put up for a popular plebiscite. Los Angeles Times, 27 May 2022 Napoleon, the very model of the nineteenth-century autocrat, ruled constitutionally and by plebiscite, however rigged the voting might have been. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 American citizens don't directly gather in community buildings to hash out political decisions, and not every policy our government pursues is approved by plebiscite. Joel Mathis, The Week, 15 Apr. 2022 Donetsk and Luhansk residents with Russian passports were allowed to vote in last year’s Russian parliamentary elections and in the 2020 plebiscite on constitutional reform that permits Mr. Putin to run for two additional terms. The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Feb. 2022 Critics see the plebiscite as an effort to lock in bigoted legislation. Dominique Soguel, The Christian Science Monitor, 30 Mar. 2022 At the time, however, the UN instituted the UN Commission for India and Pakistan and resolved to hold a plebiscite in the region. Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 1 Mar. 2022 June 11, 2017 - Puerto Ricans vote for statehood via a status plebiscite. CNN, 9 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plebiscite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of plebiscite

1860, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for plebiscite

Latin plebis scitum law voted by the comitia, literally, decree of the common people

Learn More About plebiscite

Time Traveler for plebiscite

Time Traveler

The first known use of plebiscite was in 1860

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near plebiscite

plebification

plebiscite

plebiscitum

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for plebiscite

Last Updated

10 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plebiscite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plebiscite. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on plebiscite

Nglish: Translation of plebiscite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about plebiscite

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!