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Utter means to speak, articulate or issue (as in a forged document). Some common usages of the term “utter” in a legal sense include: 

  • To utter and publish an instrument is to declare or assert, directly or indirectly, by words or actions, that it is good. 
  • In the context of a statute prohibiting the uttering of counterfeit or fraudulently obtained immigration documents, this case from the Fifth Circuit, explains that “the word ‘utter’ means to put or send a document into circulation. This meaning is specifically employed in reference to the circulation of forged or counterfeit documents as if they were genuine.”

[Last updated in November of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team