One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Roman Law. A law enacted by the plebeians' assembly.
2Politics. A direct vote of all the members of an electorate to decide a question of public importance.
Late 16th century. From classical Latin plēbiscītum (also plēbis scītum, plēbī scītum), lit. ‘an ordinance of the plebs’ from plēbis, genitive of plēbs + scītum ordinance, decree. Compare early modern German plebiscita, plural.
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