- an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, providing chiefly that no person be required to testify against himself or herself in a criminal case and that no person be subjected to a second trial for an offense for which he or she has been duly tried previously.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- an amendment to the US Constitution stating that no person may be compelled to testify against himself and that no person may be tried for a second time on a charge for which he has already been acquitted
- take the fifth or take the fifth amendment US to refuse to answer a question on the grounds that it might incriminate oneself
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
To “take the Fifth” is to refuse to testify because the testimony could lead to self-incrimination.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.