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plead the Fifth (Amendment)

1. To refuse to testify against oneself in court, in accordance with the rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The alleged kingpin of the east coast drug cartel simply pled the Fifth after every question the prosecution put to him.
2. By extension, to refuse to answer a question or provide information, especially if doing so may incriminate or embarrass oneself. Just plead the Fifth if your mom asks where you've been all night! A: "So, I hear things got pretty messy at the bar last night." B: "Yeah, I'm going to have to plead the Fifth Amendment on that one!"
See also: fifth, plead

plead for someone

to beg for someone to be spared. Tom pleaded for Dave, but it was no use. Dave was found guilty. She pleaded for her husband, but the judge sentenced him to ten years in prison.
See also: plead

plead for something

to beg for something. I don't want to have to plead for what's already mine. The children were pleading for ice cream, so we got some for them.
See also: plead

plead guilty to something

to state that one is guilty of a crime before a court of law. Gerald refused to plead guilty to the crime and had to stand trial. Max pleaded guilty to the charge and then fled town.
See also: guilty, plead

plead to something

to enter an admission of guilt to a specific crime. Max pleaded to the lesser charge of larceny. Lefty pleaded to the grand larceny charge.
See also: plead

plead with someone

to beg something of someone; to make an emotional appeal to someone. Do I have to plead with you to get you to do it? You can plead with me as much as you want. I won't permit you to go.
See also: plead

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Diane looked pleadingly at Jessica, who had always seemed to her to be the rational one.
This week, bride-to-be Lydia looked at her friends and pleadingly asked: "What was Adam thinking?
I pleadingly asked Robert as I started Googling for websites selling candles in bulk, battery-operated radios and boxes of freeze-dried and tinned dinners.
4) Eager not only for a poem's publication, but also for the payment that followed such an occasion, Arnold wrote pleadingly to editors, trying to convince them of an elegy's topicality, beauty, or necessity.
Separated by nearly 20 feet, our hands reached out pleadingly for one another and were slowly brought together.
Those two familiar syllables, delivered pleadingly and angrily on Wednesday night at Ewood Park, boomed out happily from the corner of Old Trafford.
I found myself, rather than trying to call on them, or draw them out, instead looking pleadingly at the one or two students of color in the class.
Shylock sees Antonio and calls out his name, almost pleadingly, asking for recognition as of a friend.
Oh, Miss,' she moaned, looking at me pleadingly, 'you don't think it's drugs, do you?
She threatens to organise a protest, at which point the manager pleadingly says that he is going to make sure that the missing Zesty Foods are stocked.
When the "very sunburned" (48) Steve is telling his lies, he hides from the sun of Lee Roy, at whom he never looks directly, just as one never looks at the sun or a divinity directly: "Then he came out from under the tree and stood again almost pleadingly in the sun, facing Max where he was sitting below Little Lee Roy on the steps" (54).
I looked over toward her, somewhat nervously, then somewhat pleadingly toward David.
She moistened her lips and said pleadingly, "She's been good to poor Dilys.
On the other hand, it evokes several manners of old-style "genre" subjects: Both Bruegel and Goya come to mind in the slight clumsiness of some of the human encounters in it (not only, but most especially the central anecdote of the lumbering young man looming pleadingly over his unforgiving sweetheart), in the silhouetted shortening of bodies produced by the overhead view, and in the flattened-out spatial effect of the whole, all of which is redoubled in the subtle awkwardness of the woven treatment of the scene.
She immediately starts speaking pleadingly, asking him to let her go, explaining that she is trying to get to her aunt's house across the tracks.