Legal Definition and Related Resources of Perjury

Meaning of Perjury

while statutory definitions of the term may vary slightly, generally, it is the wilful and corrupt false swearing or affirming, after an oath lawfully administered in the course of a judicial or quasi -judicial proceeding , as to some matter material to the issue or point in question . While at common law , the offense of perjury could only be committed in a judicial proceeding , in most jurisdictions in modern times, the term has been extended to false testimony given in any deposition or affidavit authorized by law. See criminal Code §125, 18 U.S.C. §231. Also U.S. v Norris, 300 U.S. 564, 57 S.Cl. 535, 81 L.Ed. 808.

Perjury Alternative Definition

Perjury at common law is the willful and corrupt taking of a false oath in a judicial proceeding in regard to a matter material to the issues. 1 Hawk, P. C. c. 69, § 1; 4 Bl. Comm. 153. It is extended by statute in most jurisdictions to false swearing in certain proceedings not judicial. To constitute the offense, (1) the testimony must be false, or believed to be false, or the witness must not know whether it be true or false (42 Vt. 152; 17 N. H. 373) ; (2) the taking of the false oath must be both willful and corrupt; (3) the matter sworn to must be material to the issue or question in controversy (12 Mass. 273; 54 Vt. 146); (4) some form of oath or its equivalent must have been duly administered by an authorized officer (86 N. Y. 154; 107 U. S. 671; 76 N. Y. 220) ; (5) the oath itself, as well as the facts sworn to, must have been material (45 Mich. 543; 17 Ohio, 365); (6) to constitute perjury in a judicial proceeding, the court or tribunal must have jurisdiction (49 Me. 412; 8 Pick. [Mass.] 453; 96 Ky. 407).

Synonyms of Perjury


  • noun
  • act of oathbreaking
  • distortion of the truth
  • fal r statement
  • false swearing
  • falsehood
  • falseness
  • falsification
  • intentional misstatement
  • invention of lies misrepresentation
  • misstatement
  • periurium
  • permisión of truth
  • prevarication
  • untruth
  • violation of ar oath
  • willful distortion of the truth
  • willful falseho: d willful telling of a falsehood
  • willful telling of a lie Associated Concepts: subornation of perjury foreign phrases: Lex punit mendacium
  • The Isi punishes mendacity
  • Perjuri sunt qui servatis vert
  • juramenti decipiunt aures eorum qui accipiunt
  • preserving the words of an oath
  • dr ceive the ears of those who receive it
  • Sacramentum fatuum fuerit
  • licet falsum
  • tamen non committit perju um
  • A foolish oath
  • although false
  • does not give r
  • Qui non libere veritatem pronunciatprodi;: est veritatis
  • He who does not freely speak the truth a betrayer of the truth

Definition of Perjury in the Free Online Notary Dictionary

Making Of False Statement Under Oath Or Affirmation In An Official Proceeding. It Is Generally Punishable By Fine And/or Imprisonment.

Find similar definitions of the Perjury concept in the Notary Dictionary, to be used to allow for comparison of legal terms meanings.

Related Entries of Perjury in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Perjury 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.

Perjury in Historical Law

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

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

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

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Statute Of Frauds, Suborn, Subornation Of Perjury.

Translate Perjury from English to Spanish

Translation of Perjury , with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Perjurio and other legal terms is available here.

Translate Under Penalty of Perjury from English to Spanish

Translation of Under Penalty of Perjury, with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Bajo pena de perjurio and other legal terms is available here.

Translate Subordination of Perjury from English to Spanish

Translation of Subordination of Perjury , with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of El delito de conseguir a otro para que preste juramento que sería perjurio de cometerlo la primera persona and other legal terms is available here.

  • El delito de conseguir a otro para que preste juramento que sería perjurio de cometerlo la primera persona
  • Legal English Translation


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Perjury in the Dictionary Perjury in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Perjury
Legal Maxims Maxims are established princip
les that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Perjury in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Perjury is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
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 Perjury (more about URIs)


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Counsel: Role of Counsel; Jury: Legal Aspects; Obstruction of Justice.
  • Further Reading

    American Law Institute. Model Penal Code and Commentaries: Official Draft and Revised Comments, part 2, article 241. Philadelphia: ALI, 1980.

    Blackstone, William. Commentaries on the Laws of England, vol. 4. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1769. Reprint, New York: Oceana,1966.

    Fitzpatrick, Bridget, and Torraco, John. “False Statements.” American Criminal Law Review 36 (Summer 1999): 607-627.

    Gordon, Michael D. “The Invention of a Common Law Crime: Perjury and the Elizabethan Courts.” The American Journal of Legal History 24 (1980): 145-170.

    Holdsworth, William. A History of English Law, vol. 4. 3d ed. London: Methuen, 1977.

    Kislak, Rebecca, and Donoghue, John J. “Perjury.” American Criminal Law Review 36 (1999): 957-982.

    Nesland, James, and Godward, Cooley. “Perjury and False Declarations.” In Otto G. Obermaier and Robert G. Morvillo, eds., White Collar Crime: Business and Regulatory Offenses. New York: Law Journal Seminars-Press, 1990. Pages 10-1 to 10-81.

    Perkins, Rollin M., and Boyce, Ronald N. Criminal Law, 3d ed. Mineola, N.Y.: Foundation Press, 1982.

    Perjury in Law Enforcement

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


    See Also

    • Law Enforcement Officer
    • Police
    • Law Enforcement Agency

    Further Reading

    Meaning of Perjury in the U.S. Legal System

    Definition of Perjury published by the National Association for Court Management: The criminal offense of making a false statement under oath.




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