Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

perjury

play
noun per·ju·ry \ˈpər-jə-rē, ˈpərj-rē\

Simple Definition of perjury

  • law : the crime of telling a lie in a court of law after promising to tell the truth

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of perjury

  1. :  the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath :  false swearing

Examples of perjury in a sentence

  1. He was found guilty of perjury.



Did You Know?

The prefix per- in Latin often meant "harmfully". So witnesses who perjure themselves do harm to the truth by knowingly telling a lie. Not all lying is perjury, only lying under oath; so perjury generally takes place either in court or before a legislative body such as Congress. To avoid committing perjury, a witness or defendant may "take the Fifth": that is, refuse to answer a question because the answer might be an admission of guilt, and the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution forbids forcing a citizen to admit to being guilty of a crime.

14th Century

First Known Use of perjury

14th century


Law Dictionary

perjury

play
noun per·ju·ry \ˈpər-jə-rē\

Legal Definition of perjury

plural

perjuries

  1. :  the act or crime of knowingly making a false statement (as about a material matter) while under oath or bound by an affirmation or other officially prescribed declaration that what one says, writes, or claims is true — compare false swearing



Origin and Etymology of perjury

Anglo-French perjurie parjurie, from Latin perjurium, from perjurus deliberately giving false testimony, from per- detrimental to + jur- jus law



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up perjury? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make consistent or congruous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alphabet-pasta-spelling-help

Which is the correct spelling?

acommodate acommadate accomodate accommodate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ