A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law. In some countries, it is synonymous with a plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question.
Some definitions of ‘plebiscite’ suggest it is a type of vote to change the constitution or government of a country. The word, ‘referendum’ is often a catchall, used for both legislative referrals and initiatives. Australia defines ‘referendum’ as a vote to change the constitution and ‘plebiscite’ as a vote which does not affect the constitution. whereas in Ireland, ‘plebiscite’ referred to the vote to adopt its constitution, but a subsequent vote to amend the constitution is called a ‘referendum’, as is a poll of the electorate on a non-constitutional bill.
A referendum, especially one that concerns changes in sovereignty
A direct popular vote on a proposed law or constitutional amendment. The adposition on is usually used before the related subject of the vote.
An action, choice, etc., which is perceived as passing judgment on another matter.
“My father is taking my decision on whether to go to university as a referendum on his performance as a parent, and it’s very stressful.”