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In law, act or crime of knowingly making a false statement while under oath. The statement must be material to the issue of inquiry. Perjuries that have the effect of obstructing the adjudication of a case may be given increased punishment for that reason. A person who makes a false statement and later corrects it is usually not considered to have committed perjury.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on perjury, visit Britannica.com.