(Pleb"i*scite) n. [F. plébiscite, fr. L. plebiscitum.] A vote by universal male suffrage; especially,
in France, a popular vote, as first sanctioned by the National Constitution of 1791. [Written also plebiscit.]
Plebiscite we have lately taken, in popular use, from the French.Fitzed. Hall.
(||Ple`bis*ci"tum) n. [L., fr. plebs, plebis, common people + scitum decree.] (Rom. Antiq.)
A law enacted by the common people, under the superintendence of a tribune or some subordinate
plebeian magistrate, without the intervention of the senate.
(Plec"tile) a. [L. plectilis.] Woven; plaited. [Obs.] Sir T. Browne.
(Plec"tog*nath) a. (Zoöl.) Of or pertaining to the Plectognathi. - - n. One of the Plectognathi.
(||Plec*to"gna*thi) n. pl. [NL., from Gr. twisted (fr. to plait, twist) + jaw.] (Zoöl.) An order
of fishes generally having the maxillary bone united with the premaxillary, and the articular united with
The upper jaw is immovably joined to the skull; the ventral fins are rudimentary or wanting; and the body
is covered with bony plates, spines, or small rough ossicles, like shagreen. The order includes the diodons,
filefishes, globefishes, and trunkfishes.
(Plec`tog*nath"ic Plec-tog"na*thous) a. (Zoöl.) Of or pertaining to the Plectognathi.
(||Plec`to*spon"dy*li) n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. plaited + a vertebra.] (Zoöl.) An extensive suborder
of fresh-water physostomous fishes having the anterior vertebræ united and much modified; the Eventognathi.
(Plec`to*spon"dy*lous) a. (Zoöl.) Of or pertaining to the Plectospondyli.
(||Plec"trum) n.; pl. L. Plectra E. Plectrums [L., fr. Gr. anything to strike with, fr. to strike.]
A small instrument of ivory, wood, metal, or quill, used in playing upon the lyre and other stringed instruments.
(Pled) imp. & p. p. of Plead [Colloq.] Spenser.
(Pledge) n. [OF. plege, pleige, pledge, guaranty, LL. plegium, plivium; akin to OF. plevir to
bail, guaranty, perhaps fr. L. praebere to proffer, offer (sc. fidem a trust, a promise of security), but cf.
also E. play. &radic28. Cf. Prebend, Replevin.]
1. (Law) The transfer of possession of personal property from a debtor to a creditor as security for
a debt or engagement; also, the contract created between the debtor and creditor by a thing being so
delivered or deposited, forming a species of bailment; also, that which is so delivered or deposited; something
put in pawn.
Pledge is ordinarily confined to personal property; the title or ownership does not pass by it; possession
is essential to it. In all these points it differs from a mortgage [see Mortgage]; and in the last, from the
hypotheca of the Roman law. See Hypotheca. Story. Kent.
2. (Old Eng. Law) A person who undertook, or became responsible, for another; a bail; a surety; a hostage.
"I am Grumio's pledge." Shak.
3. A hypothecation without transfer of possession.
4. Anything given or considered as a security for the performance of an act; a guarantee; as, mutual
interest is the best pledge for the performance of treaties. "That voice, their liveliest pledge of hope."