Learned borrowing from Latin plēbiscītum, plēbis scītum, plēbī scītum (“law of the common people or plebs”), from plēbis (the genitive singular of plēbs (“common people, plebeians”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *pleh₁- (“to fill”)) + scītum (“decree, ordinance, statute”) (from scīscō (“to ascertain; to know; to decree, enact, ordain”) (from sciō (“to know; to understand”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *skey- (“to dissect; to split”)) + -scō (suffix meaning ‘to begin [doing something]’)) + -tum (suffix forming action nouns from verbs)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌplɛbɪˈsaɪtəm/, /ˌpliː-/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌplɛbəˈsaɪtəm/, /ˌpli-/, [-ɾəm]
- Hyphenation: ple‧bi‧sci‧tum
- (Ancient Rome, historical) A law enacted by the common people, under the superintendence of a tribune or some subordinate plebeian magistrate, without the intervention of the senate.
- Synonym: plebiscite
- Synonym of
- 1894, Leo Tolstoy, “Attitude of Men of the Present Day to War”, in Constance Garnett, transl., “The Kingdom of God is within You”: Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion, but as a New Theory of Life […], 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: The Cassell Publishing Co. […], →OCLC, page 144:
- The propositions of M[axime] du Camp are as follows: […] 3. No war to be declared before it has been submitted to a plebiscitum of the nations preparing to take part in it.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “plebiscitum”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)
- (Classical) IPA(key): /pleː.bisˈkiː.tum/, [pɫ̪eːbɪs̠ˈkiːt̪ʊ̃ˑ]
- (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ple.biʃˈʃi.tum/, [plebiʃˈʃiːt̪um]
Second-declension noun (neuter).