plebiscite

noun

pleb·​i·​scite ˈple-bə-ˌsīt How to pronounce plebiscite (audio)
-sət,
 also  -ˌsēt
: 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
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 Building on her father’s signature initiative, the Varela Project, Payá has continued promoting the idea of conducting a vote called a plebiscite in Cuba that would potentially pave the way for democratic changes. Nora Gámez Torres, Miami Herald, 6 Mar. 2024 Swiss voters backed a plan to raise pensions, the first time in the country’s history that social benefits got an increase via plebiscite. Bastian Benrath, Fortune Europe, 3 Mar. 2024 One of the few on the right who voted against Pinochet in a 1988 plebiscite, Piñera helped mold a new right wing that focused more on economic liberalism than Catholic conservatism and authoritarianism. TIME, 7 Feb. 2024 Tamari: Partition was certainly rejected by much of the Palestinian leadership, but there was no plebiscite for the people. Emily Bazelon, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2024 In 1988, Pinochet was defeated in a presidential plebiscite. Martina Ibáñez-Baldor, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Pinochet’s reign ended with greater conciliation than some other 20th century dictatorships: A 1988 plebiscite foiled his bid to hold power as a civilian president and elections in 1989 paved the way for the return of constitutional democracy in 1990. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023 For decades, support for independence in plebiscites and local elections languished in the low single digits. Alberto C. Medina, The New Republic, 24 July 2023 While independence was excluded as an option in the 2020 status plebiscite (and pro-independence voters boycotted the 2017 vote), 2021 polling put support for independence or free association—the sovereign status of islands like Micronesia and Palau—north of 20 percent. Alberto C. Medina, The New Republic, 24 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plebiscite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1860, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of plebiscite was in 1860

Dictionary Entries Near plebiscite

Cite this Entry

“Plebiscite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plebiscite. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

plebiscite

noun
pleb·​i·​scite ˈpleb-ə-ˌsīt How to pronounce plebiscite (audio)
-sət
: 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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