Thursday, September 10, 2015

Word of the day: plebiscite

The word of the day is plebiscite:

  1. a direct vote of the qualified voters of a state in regard to some important public question.
  2. the vote by which the people of a political unit determine autonomy or affiliation with another country.
"direct vote of the people," 1860 (originally in ref. to Italian unification), from Fr. plébiscite (1776 in modern sense), from L. plebiscitum "a decree or resolution of the people," from plebs (gen. plebis) "the common people" + scitum "decree," properly neuter pp. of sciscere "to assent, vote for, approve," inchoative of scire "to know" (see science). Used earlier (1533) in a purely Roman historical context. (

"The manifesto served as a kind of plebiscite among revolutionaries.  Those who signed it set themselves not only against Carranza's false revolutionary government but also against Félix Díaz's false opposition."

 - John Womack, Zapata and the Mexican Revolution

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