Definition of referendum in English:


See synonyms for referendum

Translate referendum into Spanish

nounplural noun referendums, plural noun referenda/-də/

  • A general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘There is speculation that Britain will hold a national referendum on the issue sometime in 2003.’
    • ‘Land reform became the cornerstone of Mugabe's agenda after he lost a national constitutional referendum in February 2000.’
    • ‘If a euro referendum is not held before 2006, Mr Brown could have a long wait for the job.’
    • ‘French philosopher and social critic Paul Virilio writes on the upcoming French referendum on the European constitution.’
    • ‘Sharon could also decide to call a national referendum on the issue, which he would probably win.’
    • ‘Again, as your correspondents have mentioned, he lost this constitutional referendum in February.’
    • ‘My first close involvement with Robin was during the devolution referendum campaign of the late 1970s.’
    • ‘But the single biggest factor that could dictate prices is the 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.’
    • ‘Madrid supports a UN-sponsored referendum over the future of the territory.’
    • ‘The government's reasons for proposing the citizenship referendum have shifted repeatedly since it was first announced.’
    • ‘If Blair were to lose a euro referendum, he might well be finished as Prime Minister.’
    • ‘Residents will have the final say on the proposals as part of next year's devolution referendum.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His new constitution was approved by a referendum in September 1958.’
    public vote, plebiscite, popular vote, ballot, poll
    View synonyms



/ˌrefəˈrendəm/ /ˌrɛfəˈrɛndəm/


Mid 18th century (denoting a proposal for approval): from Latin, gerund (‘referring’) or neuter gerundive (‘something to be brought back or referred’) of referre (see refer).