Definition of perjury
: 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
He was found guilty of perjury.
Recent Examples of perjury from the Web
His perjury convictions were overturned on appeal and the conspiracy charge later dismissed.
Taylor was convicted two weeks later on eight counts of felony theft and perjury, and in April 2001 was sentenced to a Three Strikes penalty of 200 years to life.
US Attorney General Janet Reno opened a 90-day inquiry Tuesday to investigate whether former presidential adviser Harold Ickes committed perjury.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perjury'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
First Known Use of perjury
PERJURY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of perjury for English Language Learners
law : the crime of telling a lie in a court of law after promising to tell the truth
Legal Definition of perjury
: 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
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