Today’s word comes from a random word generator.
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Part of Speech
- The willful giving of false testimony under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry.
- The act of swearing to a statement known to be false.
- False swearing.
The first known use of the word perjury in English was in the 14th century; it stems from the French perjurie first used in the late 13th century.
“The prefix per- in Latin often meant “harmfully.” So witnesses who perjure themselves do harm to the truth by knowingly telling a lie. Not all lying is perjury, only lying under oath; so perjury generally takes place either in court or before a legislative body such as Congress. To avoid committing perjury, a witness or defendant may “take the Fifth”: that is, refuse to answer a question because the answer might be an admission of guilt, and the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution forbids forcing a citizen to admit to being guilty of a crime.”https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perjury
Usage and Examples
Here are a few examples:
- John Wilkins sat on the witness stand, torn between committing perjury to save his family and telling the truth to protect the innocent.
- “Silver, if we both get out alive out of this wolf-trap, I’ll do my best to save you, short of perjury.”
“Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson.