perjury

noun per·ju·ry \ ˈpər-jə-rē , ˈpərj-rē \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

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

  1. He was found guilty of perjury.

Recent Examples of perjury from the Web

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

14th century


PERJURY Defined for English Language Learners

perjury

noun

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


Law Dictionary

perjury

noun per·ju·ry \ ˈpər-jə-rē \

legal Definition of perjury

plural perjuries
: 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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