pleb·​i·​scite | \ˈple-bə-ˌsīt, -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, 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

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 Puerto Ricans most recently voted for statehood in nonbinding plebiscites in 2017, though the election had relatively low turnout. Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, "Must-Do for Florida’s Midterm Candidates: A Stop in Puerto Rico. Or Three.," 17 May 2018 The Dutch Senate in coming months is expected to vote to end this short-lived experiment, after two plebiscites which contradicted government decisions. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "As Referendums Roil Europe, the Dutch Reconsider," 5 Apr. 2018 July 23, 1967 - Commonwealth status is upheld via a status plebiscite. Cnn Library, CNN, "Puerto Rico Fast Facts," 31 May 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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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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Nglish: Translation of plebiscite for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about plebiscite

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