One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural referendums, Plural referenda
A general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.
public vote, plebiscite, popular vote, ballot, pollView synonyms
- ‘Residents will have the final say on the proposals as part of next year's devolution referendum.’
- ‘In it, Baudrillard describes the French referendum on the European constitution as a farce, and as state terrorism.’
- ‘Land reform became the cornerstone of Mugabe's agenda after he lost a national constitutional referendum in February 2000.’
- ‘His new constitution was approved by a referendum in September 1958.’
- ‘A special survey of Welsh voters shows next week's devolution referendum in the principality is too close to call.’
- ‘East Timor's struggle for independence was decided by a landmark referendum in August and approved by Indonesia in October.’
- ‘Again, as your correspondents have mentioned, he lost this constitutional referendum in February.’
- ‘If a euro referendum is not held before 2006, Mr Brown could have a long wait for the job.’
- ‘Madrid supports a UN-sponsored referendum over the future of the territory.’
- ‘He could also claim a legitimacy built on a succession of victories in irreproachably clean popular votes in referendums and multi-party elections.’
- ‘The third option is to do nothing until an abortion referendum is held.’
- ‘But the single biggest factor that could dictate prices is the French referendum on the European constitution.’
- ‘There is speculation that Britain will hold a national referendum on the issue sometime in 2003.’
- ‘The government's reasons for proposing the citizenship referendum have shifted repeatedly since it was first announced.’
- ‘My first close involvement with Robin was during the devolution referendum campaign of the late 1970s.’
- ‘If Blair were to lose a euro referendum, he might well be finished as Prime Minister.’
- ‘French philosopher and social critic Paul Virilio writes on the upcoming French referendum on the European constitution.’
- ‘The second example is about collection of signatures for the presidential recall referendum in Venezuela.’
- ‘The promised referendum on independence has never materialised.’
- ‘Sharon could also decide to call a national referendum on the issue, which he would probably win.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin, gerund ( ‘referring’) or neuter gerundive ( ‘something to be brought back or referred’) of referre (see refer).
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