taking the Fifth


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to taking the Fifth: eminent domain

taking the Fifth

n. the refusal to testify on the ground that the testimony might tend to incriminate the witness in a crime, based on the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution which provides that "No person....shall be compelled to be a witness against himself," applied to state courts by the 14th Amendment. The term became famous during televised Senate committee hearings on organized crime in 1951, when a series of crime bosses "took the Fifth." (See: self-incrimination)

References in periodicals archive ?
Selby ensured his opponent's comeback was short-lived by taking the fifth courtesy of a 60 break - and he wrapped up the match with a break of 54.
The former World Champion was 3-0 down as Hankey took control but he fought back to 3-2 - taking the fifth leg in 14 darts with a 70 finish.
The Kiwis, who had rested inform player Martin Guptill, lost their first five wickets for just 24 runs, with medium- pacers Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera scalping two each and Shaminda Eranga taking the fifth.