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[pur-juh-ree] /ˈpɜr dʒə ri/
noun, plural perjuries. Law.
the willful giving of false testimony under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry.
Origin of perjury
1250-1300; Middle English perjurie < Anglo-French < Latin perjūrium, equivalent to perjūr(us) swearing falsely (see perjure) + -ium -ium; replacing parjure < Old French < Latin as above
Related forms
[per-joo r-ee-uh s] /pərˈdʒʊər i əs/ (Show IPA),
perjuriously, adverb
perjuriousness, noun
nonperjury, noun, plural nonperjuries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for perjury
  • He beat a perjury investigation, yes, but he still left the distinct impression that he'd been lying about that relationship.
  • They are not quite true in the normal sense, but if made under oath they would not be prosecutable for perjury, either.
  • The difference between perjury and mendacity is not in the least one of morals or ethics.
  • She refused to talk but was charged with perjury.
  • Suggestions that a governor should be investigated for possible criminal prosecution for perjury would usually be devastating.
  • The law defines perjury very clearly.
  • Nannery, who pleaded guilty to first-degree perjury, had asked for a sentence of probation.
  • She was disbarred for six months in 1962 after pleading guilty the year before to misdemeanor perjury.
  • The wicked never shrink from perjury.
  • The defendants were charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury.
British Dictionary definitions for perjury


noun (pl) -juries
(criminal law) the offence committed by a witness in judicial proceedings who, having been lawfully sworn or having affirmed, wilfully gives false evidence
Derived Forms
perjurious (pɜːˈdʒʊərɪəs) adjective
perjuriously, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French parjurie, from Latin perjūrium a false oath; see perjure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for perjury

late 14c., "act of swearing to a statement known to be false," via Anglo-French perjurie (late 13c.) and Old French parjurée "perjury, false witness," both from Latin periurium "a false oath," from periurare "swear falsely," from per- "away, entirely" (see per) + iurare "to swear" (see jury (n.)). Related: Perjurious.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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