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Perjury is a legal term that dates back to the 1300s. We will examine the meaning of the word perjury, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Perjury is the telling of a lie while under legal oath, or misrepresenting the truth when giving legal testimony. Simply giving testimony that is untrue does not constitute perjury. For instance, someone may lie about the year he is born. If this intentional untruth does not concern the case or its outcome, it is not considered perjury. If the case is directly related to the year of the witness’ birth, such as a case to consider whether he is eligible for retirement benefits, then such testimony is considered perjury. Perjury is a noun, the plural form is perjuries, the verb form is perjure. Related words are perjures, perjured, perjuring. The word perjure is derived from the Old French word parjurée, meaning to bear false witness, which is in turn derived from the Latin word periurium, which means a false oath.


Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel E. Abelove was charged with felony perjury and two counts of official misconduct Friday in an indictment that was unsealed at the end of a probe into his controversial handling of the fatal police shooting of a DWI suspect. (The Albany Times Union)

The perjury proceedings focus on Fish’s grand jury testimony, in which he falsely said his brother drove the vehicle that carried Fish, Duel and another man to the home the night of the fire. (The Daily Gazette)

The police perjured themselves in court, the trial collapsed, the miners were acquitted and some were compensated. (The Guardian)