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 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 Sunday’s election is the latest plebiscite backed by López Obrador since he was elected in 2018 on an anticorruption platform. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2021 During dictator Augusto Pinochet’s rule, international pressure led his government to allow a 1988 plebiscite, which resulted in the end of his rule. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 May 2021 This Sunday, this assembly has its first official session, kicking off a process that should last up to a year and produce a text that will be ratified through a new plebiscite. Daniela Mohor W., CNN, 4 July 2021 If Scots vote in sufficient numbers for pro-independence parties in Thursday’s election, the momentum for another plebiscite could become unstoppable. New York Times, 6 May 2021 Scottish politics has been diverging from other parts of the United Kingdom for some time, but Scots remain divided over holding another independence plebiscite. Russell Cheyne, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 May 2021 Nonetheless, and shockingly, Gödel (along with most of his compatriots) voted in the subsequent plebiscite in favor of his country’s absorption by the German state. David Edmonds, WSJ, 14 May 2021 For a plebiscite to be legally binding, an agreement almost certainly would have to first be struck with London, and the prime minister can continue to stonewall for some time. New York Times, 6 May 2021 With about 55% voter turnout, 52.34% of Puerto Ricans voted yes to statehood in a November 2020 plebiscite, according to Puerto Rico’s Elections Commission. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 1 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for plebiscite

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The first known use of plebiscite was in 1860

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plebiscite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on plebiscite

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


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