Definition of suborn
1 : to induce secretly to do an unlawful thing
2 : to induce to commit perjury; also : to obtain (perjured testimony) from a witness
subornationplay \ˌsə-ˌbȯr-ˈnā-shən\ noun
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Examples of suborn in a Sentence
He's accused of suborning a witness.
Recent Examples of suborn from the Web
Now the party elite will literally be suborned at an event conjoining his public duties and the fattening of his own wallet.
This accusation was made in respect to a live VOA interview with expatriate Chinese billionaire businessman Guo Wengui who had some explosive revelations to make on how Chinese businesses are suborned into supporting the...
For instance, the judiciary committee charged Nixon with suborning perjury and withholding evidence.
Some members of Congress, like House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, have chosen to essentially suborn themselves, by conspiring with the White House to generate a counter-scandal where none exists.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suborn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The Latin word that gave us suborn in the early part of the 16th century is subornare, which translates literally as "to secretly furnish or equip." The sub- that brings the "secretly" meaning to subornare more commonly means "under" or "below," but it has its stealthy denotation in the etymologies of several other English words, including surreptitious (from sub- and rapere, meaning "to seize") and the verb suspect (from sub- or sus- and specere, meaning "to look at"). The ornare of subornare is also at work in the words ornate, adorn, and ornament.
SUBORN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of suborn for English Language Learners
: to persuade (someone) to do something illegal (such as to lie in a court of law)
: to get (false testimony) from a witness
Legal Definition of suborn
1 : to induce or procure to commit an unlawful act and especially perjury an attempt to suborn a witness
2 : to induce (perjury) or obtain (perjured testimony) from a witness an attorney and his client were jointly charged with suborning perjury and perjury, respectively — W. R. LaFave and J. H. Israel
Origin and Etymology of suborn
Latin subornare, from sub- secretly + ornare to prepare, equip
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