pleb·i·scite (plĕbĭ-sīt′, -sĭt)
1. A direct vote in which the entire electorate is invited to accept or refuse a proposal: The new constitution was ratified in a plebiscite.
2. A vote in which a population exercises the right of national self-determination.
[French plébiscite, from Latin plēbiscītum : plēbis, genitive of plēbs, the people; see pelə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + scītum, decree, from neuter past participle of scīscere, to vote for, inchoative of scīre, to know; see skei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ple·bisci·tar′y (plə-bĭsĭ-tĕr′ē, plĕb′ĭ-sĭtə-rē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.