fifth

[ fifth or, often, fith ]
/ fɪfθ or, often, fɪθ /
|

adjective

adverb

in the fifth place; fifthly.

noun

Idioms

    take the Fifth, Informal. to decline on the basis of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to answer a question when testifying.

Origin of fifth

before 1000; earlier fift, Middle English fifte, Old English fīfta; -th by analogy with fourth, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for take the fifth

Word Origin for fifth

Old English fīfta
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

Word Origin and History for take the fifth

fifth


adj.

c.1200, fift, from Old English fifta, from fif "five" (see five) + -ta (see -th (1)). Altered 14c. by influence of fourth. Cf. Old Frisian fifta, Old Saxon fifto, Old Norse fimmti, Dutch vijfde, Old High German fimfto, German fünfte, Gothic fimfta.

Noun meaning "fifth part of a gallon of liquor" is first recorded 1938, American English. Fifth Avenue (in New York City) has been used figuratively for "elegance, taste" since at least 1858. Fifth wheel "superfluous person or thing" first attested 1902. Fifth-monarchy-man, 17c. for "anrachist zealot," is a reference to Dan. ii:44.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for take the fifth

fifth

[ fĭfth ]

adj.

Coming after fourth, as in order, rank, or time.
Being the outermost digit, as on a hand.
Related formsfifth n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with take the fifth (1 of 2)

take the Fifth


Refuse to answer on the grounds that one may incriminate oneself, as in He took the Fifth on so many of the prosecutor's questions that we're sure he's guilty. This idiom refers to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself or herself. [Mid-1900s]

Idioms and Phrases with take the fifth (2 of 2)

fifth


In addition to the idioms beginning with fifth

  • fifth column
  • fifth wheel

also see:

  • take the fifth
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.