Dictionary

fifth column

noun

Definition of FIFTH COLUMN

:  a group of secret sympathizers or supporters of an enemy that engage in espionage or sabotage within defense lines or national borders
fifth col·um·nism \-ˈkä-ləm-ˌ(n)i-zəm\ noun
fifth col·um·nist \-(n)ist\ noun

Origin of FIFTH COLUMN

name applied to rebel sympathizers in Madrid in 1936 when four rebel columns were advancing on the city
First Known Use: 1936

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: Fifth dayPrevious Word in the Dictionary: fifthAll Words Near: fifth column
May 25, 2015
callithump Hear it
a noisy boisterous band or parade
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears