plead the Fifth

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plead the Fifth (third-person singular simple present pleads the Fifth, present participle pleading the Fifth, simple past and past participle pled the Fifth or pleaded the Fifth)

  1. (law, US) To invoke the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects witnesses from being forced to incriminate themselves.
  2. (informal) To refuse to answer a question, or refuse to speak, especially when the response would reflect badly on the speaker.