Legal Definition and Related Resources of Bribery

Meaning of Bribery

The corruption of any person in public or official capacity by gifts of money , favors, property , advantage, privilege or anything of value or the promise of same. The giving, offering, receiving or soliciting of anything of value to influence action of an official in discharge of a legal or public duty. See Hodgson v Chain service restaurant , Luncheonette & Soda Fountain Emp. union , local 11, 355 F. Supp. 180 (D.C.N.Y.). The term bribery connotes a voluntary offer to obtain gain, while extortion denotes some form of coercion . See U.S. v Adcock, 558 F.2d397.

Bribery Alternative Definition

At common law. The receiving or offering any undue reward by or to any person whomsoever, whose ordinary profession or business relates to the administration of public justice, in order to influence his behavior in office, and to incline him to act contrary to his duty and the known rules of honesty and integrity. Coke, 3d Inst. 149; 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 67, § 2; 4 Bl. Comm. 139; 1 Russ. Crimes, 156. The term “bribery” now extends further, and includes the offense of giving a bribe to many other officers. The offense of the giver and of the receiver of the bribe has the same name. For the sake of distinction, that of the former viz., the bribermight be properly denominated “active bribery;” while that of the latter viz., the person bribed might be called “passive bribery.” “The voluntary giving or receiving of anything of value in corrupt payment for an official act done or to be done.” 2 Bish. Grim. Law, § 85.

Synonyms of Bribery


  • allurement
  • baiting
  • blandishment
  • breach of faith
  • bribing
  • cajolement
  • cajolery
  • collusion
  • complicity
  • connivance
  • corrupt inducement
  • corrupt payment
  • corruptibility
  • corruption
  • crime
  • criminality
  • enticement
  • illegal incitation
  • illegal inducement
  • improbity
  • inducement
  • inveiglement
  • jobbery
  • lawbreaking
  • luring
  • misdealing
  • opportunism
  • perfidy
  • pettifoggery
  • plying
  • pressure
  • prodition
  • seducement
  • snaring
  • tan talization
  • temptation
  • tempting
  • unlawful encouragement
  • venality
  • Associated Concepts: commercial bribery
  • obstruction of justice
  • official misconduct
  • public bribery

Related Entries of Bribery in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Bribery in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Bribery in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Bribery in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Bribery in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Racketeering, Star-chamber.

What does Bribery mean in American Law?

The definition of Bribery in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

A crime (the exact scope of which varies somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction) of giving or promising, or soliciting or receiving, something of value to influence, in the performance of official duties by a public official, or by one (e.g., a voter, witness, or juror) with a temporary official role. Some statutes also cover union officials, employees of businesses (see commercial bribery), and participants in sporting contests.

Modem interpretative problems center on what constitutes a corrupt transfer of something of value to the official (a vote for him? getting out the vote? a campaign contribution, where no specific favor is asked in return?), and the status of payments to governmental officers in other countries where such payments are lawful, or only formally unlawful. See questionable payments.


You might be interested in these references tools:

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Bribery in the Dictionary Bribery in our legal dictionaries
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Related topics Bribery in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Bribery Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Bribery (more about URIs)

Bribery in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of bribery.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

English Legal System: Bribery And Corruption

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Bribery And Corruption : Offences relating to the improper influencing of people in certain positions of trust. The offences commonly grouped under this expression are now statutory. Under the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889(amended by the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916) it is an offence, if done corruptly (i.e. deliberately and with an improper motive), to give or offer to a member, officer, or servant of a public body any reward or advantage to do anything in relation to any matter with which that body is concerned; it is also an offence for a public servant or officer to corruptly receive or solicit such a reward. The Prevention of Corruption Act 1906(amended by the 1916 Act) is wider in scope. It relates to agents, which include not only those involved in the business of agency but also all employees, including anyone serving under the Crown or any public body. Under this Act it is an offence to corruptly give or offer any valuable consideration to an agent to do any act or show any favour in relation to his principal’s affairs; like the 1889 Act, it also creates a converse offence of receiving or soliciting by agents.




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