self-incrimination

[ self-in-krim-uh-ney-shuh n, self- ]
/ ˈsɛlf ɪnˌkrɪm əˈneɪ ʃən, ˌsɛlf- /
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noun

the act of incriminating oneself or exposing oneself to prosecution, especially by giving evidence or testimony.

Origin of self-incrimination

First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-incrimination

Word Origin and History for self-incrimination

self-incrimination


n.

also self incrimination, 1892, from self- + incrimination.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for self-incrimination

self-incrimination


Being forced or coerced to testify against oneself. Self-incrimination is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Note

Under this principle, a person may choose (given certain restrictions) to “take the Fifth,” refusing to testify in court or before a legislative or executive committee.

Note

Prohibiting self-incrimination not only helps guarantee due process of law, but also maintains one of the basic principles of American law by putting the burden of proof on the prosecution. (See also Miranda decision.)
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.