take/plead the Fifth

take/plead the Fifth
take/plead the Fifth
chiefly US : to refuse to answer questions in a court of law because your answers might be harmful to you or might show that you have committed a crime

When called to testify, he took the Fifth.

— often used figuratively

He took the Fifth [=he refused to answer] when his wife asked him where he'd spent the night.

◇ The phrase take/plead the Fifth refers to the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says that citizens of the U.S. cannot be required to give testimony that could be used against them in a court of law.
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Main Entry:fifth

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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  • plead the Fifth — see ↑fifth, 1 • • • Main Entry: ↑plead * * * take/plead the ˈfifth idiom (US) to 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 guilty From the …   Useful english dictionary

  • plead the Fifth (Amendment) — take/plead/the Fifth (Amendment) often humorous phrase to say that you do not want to answer a question Thesaurus: to stop talking, or to not say anythingsynonym Main entry: Fifth Amendment …   Useful english dictionary

  • I plead the Fifth (Amendment) — I take/plead the Fifth (Amendment) American, humorous something that you say in order to tell someone you are not going to answer a question. So who do you like best, Jenny or Kim? Sorry, I take the Fifth on that. (sometimes + on) …   New idioms dictionary

  • plead the Fifth — verb To invoke the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves. Syn: take the fifth …   Wiktionary

  • plead the fifth — verb To refuse to answer a question, or refuse to speak, especially when the response would reflect badly on the speaker. Syn: take the fifth …   Wiktionary

  • take the Fifth (Amendment) — take/plead/the Fifth (Amendment) often humorous phrase to say that you do not want to answer a question Thesaurus: to stop talking, or to not say anythingsynonym Main entry: Fifth Amendment …   Useful english dictionary

  • take the Fifth — verb refuse to testify by invoking the Fifth Amendment, which states that nobody may be forced to testify as a witness against himself or herself • Syn: ↑take the Fifth Amendment • Hypernyms: ↑declare • Verb Frames: Somebody s * * * take the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • the Fifth Amendment — UK / US the part of the US constitution that says that anyone accused of a crime does not have to give information in court if it proves that they are guilty • take/plead the Fifth (Amendment) often humorous to say that you do not want to answer… …   English dictionary

  • (the) Fifth Amendment — the Fifth Amendment UK US the part of the US constitution that says that anyone accused of a crime does not have to give information in court if it proves that they are guilty http://www.macmillandictionary.com/med2cd/weblinks/fifth amendment the …   Useful english dictionary

  • take the fifth — (USA) If you do not want to answer a question you can take the fifth, meaning you are choosing not to answer.  ( Plead the fifth is also used.) …   The small dictionary of idiomes

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