- Referendum is the submission of a law to the direct vote of the people.
An example of a referendum is having citizens vote on suggested town curfew laws.
referendum definition by Webster's New World
- the submission of a law, proposed or already in effect, to a direct vote of the people, as in superseding or overruling the legislature
- the vote itself
- a note sent by a diplomatic agent to the agent's own government, asking for specific instructions
Origin: Modern Latin ; from Classical Latin a carrying back, gerund, gerundive or neuter gerund, gerundive of referre: see refer
referendum definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. ref·er·en·dums or ref·er·en·da
- a. The submission of a proposed public measure or actual statute to a direct popular vote.b. Such a vote.
- A note from a diplomat to the diplomat's government requesting instructions.
Origin: Latin, neuter gerundive of referre, to refer; see refer.
referendum - Cultural Definition
A direct popular vote on an issue of public policy, such as a proposed amendment to a state constitution or a proposed law. Referendums, which allow the general population to participate in policymaking, are not used at the national level, but are common at the state and local levels. A referendum is often used to gauge popular approval or rejection of laws recently passed or under consideration by a state legislature. A referendum can also be used to initiate legislative action.
A vote by the general public, rather than by governmental bodies, on a bill or some other important issue; a plebiscite. (See under “American Politics.”)
referendum - Legal Definition