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

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 The unrest led now-outgoing President Sebastián Piñera to agree to a plebiscite about the need to change the constitution inherited from the dictatorship -- a year later, Chileans overwhelmingly voted to draft a new constitution. Rafael Romo, CNN, 22 Nov. 2021 But turnout for the constitutional plebiscite last year was 50.9 percent. Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2021 Constitutionally, Japan needs to hold a plebiscite this month. William Pesek, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 The ruling party is not going away, not by genuine plebiscite anyway. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 The state legislature wrote these into California’s constitution the following year, and the voters ratified them by plebiscite. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 16 Sep. 2021 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

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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Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plebiscite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 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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