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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 ?
I looked over toward her, somewhat nervously, then somewhat pleadingly toward David.
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.
But the Leeds official got it bang-on after the break when Ronaldo went feebly to ground after running into Wheater's back and pleadingly looked at him for a spot-kick.
78) Brockway then pleadingly wrote: "We believe you will appreciate that it is difficult for an independent organization to go further than this.
He looked at me pleadingly when Evelyn and I got up to leave but it didn't matter: I'd had enough.
Jesus lets Peter know that he has pleadingly prayed for spiritual strength for him during the dangerous days ahead.
Quaid and Russo smile pleadingly through the mounting devastation, as if to beg our forgiveness, while there are too many youngsters crammed into the frame to begin to care about learning names, or to care a jot about their welfare.
She knelt, dry leaf against iron hoofs among the forgotten of Lagos, the homeless of Maroko, wishing the Lord would nod at her withered hands stretched pleadingly towards the law-mighty epaulettes glinting with a merry stamp towards her vale of sad wire.
On the break-up: He pleadingly attributes it to "not one thing; it's so complex and multifaceted.
But then De Quincey was never any good with money, always pleadingly borrowing here and generously giving there, to the despair of his friends and family.
The actor/dancer's natural charisma is in ample evidence, but Hines also captures the demons that drove the man, most compellingly in a scene in which he, yes, addresses the camera and desperately, pleadingly wonders when the racism limiting his career will ever cease.
Reflecting the common medieval view of the psalms as a psychodrama, a sort of protosonnet-sequence, the highly charged roller coaster of emotions enacted by the penitential psalms (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, 142) is shown to generate multiple voices: David is seen as speaking in his historical persona as well as in the person of all sinners, while in some sections the voice is attributed to Christ speaking passionately and pleadingly to his Father.
Brahms worked mostly with only one publisher (Simrock), but editing him is an engaging prospect, partly because he so pleadingly asks to be loved, partly because he was not as flawless a proof-reader as one might suspect;