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

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Other Words from plebiscite

plebiscitary \ ple-​ˈbi-​sə-​ˌter-​ē How to pronounce plebiscitary (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

This does not mean getting rid of Congress altogether and replacing it with some national plebiscite. Jay Cost, National Review, "Restoring Congress: The Parties Are a Solution," 17 June 2019 Congress has dismissed Puerto Ricans’ plebiscites in favor of full statehood. Adrian Carrasquillo, The New Republic, "Puerto Ricans Are Tired of Being Powerless," 25 July 2019 Behind referendums and plebiscites lies the idea of popular sovereignty. The New York Review of Books, "Neal Ascherson," 18 Apr. 2019 In a smaller plebiscite Feb. 6, six towns in Lanao del Norte and 67 villages in North Cotabato—two neighboring provinces—voted whether to join. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Philippine Towns Blocked From Joining Muslim Self-Rule Region," 15 Feb. 2019 Any future plebiscite will be hobbled by the same defect as the last one: ambiguity about the precise outcome voters desire. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Britain Risks Death by a Thousand Elections," 21 Nov. 2018 Six months in, his government held a plebiscite in which 97 percent chose statehood. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, "Sluggish recovery from Hurricane Maria reignites calls for Puerto Rico’s statehood, independence," 28 Apr. 2018 Even if the fawning Congress produces a new constitution, a plebiscite will be needed to approve it. The Economist, "The president of the Philippines wants to change the constitution," 28 June 2018 Aliyev's critics denounced the 2016 plebiscite as effectively cementing a dynastic rule. Fox News, "Polls open in presidential election in Azerbaijan," 11 Apr. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for plebiscite

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for plebiscite

The first known use of plebiscite was in 1860

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English Language Learners Definition of plebiscite

: a vote by which the people of a country or region express their opinion for or against an important proposal

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plebiscite

Nglish: Translation of plebiscite for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about plebiscite

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to shake or wave menacingly

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