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

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 Colombia’s Peace Accords took years to negotiate and had to be amended after voters opposed to the deal won with a narrow margin in an October 2016 plebiscite. Martha Pskowski, The New Republic, "The Radical Amnesty Plan of Mexico’s Next President," 2 July 2018 Vote counts show that a plebiscite on the question passed overwhelmingly on Sunday, winning about 95 percent of the vote, though abstention was high. Fox News, "Guatemalans OK effort to end territorial dispute with Belize," 16 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

20 Jun 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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an act or instance of editing or removing

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