take/plead the fifth

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take the fifth (amendment)

1. To refuse to testify against oneself in court, in accordance with the right guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights. The defendant took the fifth after every question the prosecution put to him. There is speculation that he will take the fifth amendment if he is asked about his actions under oath.
2. By extension, to refuse to answer a question or provide information, especially if doing so may incriminate or embarrass oneself. Just take the fifth if your mom asks where you've been all night! A: "So, I hear things got pretty messy at the party last night." B: "Yeah, I'm going to have to take the fifth amendment on that one!"
See also: fifth, take

take the Fifth

Refuse to answer on the grounds that one may incriminate oneself, as in He took the Fifth on so many of the prosecutor's questions that we're sure he's guilty. This idiom refers to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself or herself. [Mid-1900s]
See also: fifth, take

take the fifth

(in the USA) exercise the right of refusing to answer questions in order to avoid incriminating yourself.
The reference in this phrase is to Article V of the ten original amendments ( 1791 ) to the Constitution of the United States, which states that ‘no person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself’.
See also: fifth, take

take/plead the ˈfifth

(American English) make use of the right to refuse to answer questions in court about a crime, because you may give information which will make it seem that you are guiltyFrom the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees this right.
See also: fifth, plead, take

take the fifth

1. and five it tv. to refuse to testify to a U.S. legislative committee under the protection of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The lawyer just sat there and said, “Five it” after every question.
2. tv. to decline to answer any questions. I’ll take the fifth on that one. Ask Fred.
See also: fifth, take
References in periodicals archive ?
It's crazy that we still let referees plead the fifth on key decisions
Judge Richard Fox has ruled the 23-year-old Mean Girls star cannot plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer questions under oath about her cocaine use.
District Attorney Tom Sneddon said in opening statements that the mother would admit obtaining welfare funds to which she was not entitled, but ABC said she may plead the Fifth Amendment.
While Gursky celebrates the sublime beauty of parliaments, exchange floors, and stores, and Hofer and Struth plead the Fifth, "documenting" with efficient objectivity, Hall focuses on mundane, unglamorous public spaces, marked by telling details: crumbling books in libraries, cracks and fading lines on highways, people who stray into the foreground of the photograph, into the viewer's space.
Timberg shows how McCain was finally compelled to tell Poindexter, in vain, "You can't become the first admiral in the history of the United States Navy to plead the Fifth.
A witness may risk being held in contempt by pleading the Fifth Amendment too soon in response to a question that a court later determines would not have elicited an incriminating answer; the witness, on the other hand, must be careful not to plead the Fifth Amendment too late and risk a court finding that the privilege was waived because of the prior answers.
com/the-daily-dish/gerard-butler-reveals-whether-angelina-jolie-or-jennifer-aniston-was-a-better-kisser) Plead the Fifth game on "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen" and was forced to name one of the two actresses.
Which federal government official chose to plead the Fifth during a congressional hearing this month?
He said: "I'm going to plead the fifth on the accent because we don't know what we are doing exactly yet.
While the Auburn players and staff have chosen to plead the Fifth on the topic of streaks and records, the Central Mass.
David Moyes has continued to plead the fifth amendment - that overhauling Aston Villa and swapping sixth for fifth is somehow meaningful - but while the argument was laudable, it was unconvincing.
WHERE YOU'VE SEEN HIM He Was the straight-o big bro in Thirteen and has reportedly dated his on-screen sister, co-star Evan Rachel Wood, but he won't talk about that: "I plead the fifth.
Well, I generally spend roughly pounds 400 on a suit, so I think I'd better plead the Fifth.
Gerald Butler appeared on "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen" on Wednesday where he participated in a Plead The Fifth game, (http://www.
Spooks may always plead the Fifth and refuse to answer questions they judge might lose lives but the cloak and dagger should be reserved for operations - not avoiding accountability.