taking the Fifth


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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 ?
Meanwhile, on the phone with The Advocate, Falco is taking the Fifth on her friendship with Mendelsohn, loyally refusing to confirm or deny his sexual identity.
Examples of non-statistical samples include reviewing one year (or one month) and applying the results to several years, selecting the ten largest accounts from several groups of accounts, or simply taking the fifth file from each drawer of a set of file cabinets.
For the record, though, I'm taking the fifth about who they are.