Referendum Ref`er*en"dum (r?f`?r*?n"d?m), n.; pl. {-da} [Gerundive fr. L. referre. See {Refer}.] 1. A diplomatic agent's note asking for instructions from his government concerning a particular matter or point. [1913 Webster]

2. The right to approve or reject by popular vote a meassure passed upon by a legislature. [1913 Webster]

3. The principle or practice of referring measures passed upon by the legislative body to the body of voters, or electorate, for approval or rejection, as in the Swiss cantons (except Freiburg) and in various local governments in the United States, and also in the local option laws, etc.; also, the right to so approve or reject laws, or the vote by which this is done. Referendum is distinguished from the mandate, or instruction of representatives by the people, from direct government by the people, in which they initiate and make the laws by direct action without representation, and from a plebiscite, or popular vote taken on any measure proposed by a person or body having the initiative but not constituting a representative or constituent body. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”