Fifth Column Definition
Other Word Forms of Fifth Column
Origin of Fifth Column
From a 1936 radio address by Spanish Nationalist general Emilio Mola, in which he spoke of four of his army columns moving on Madrid and a quinta columna consisting of his militant supporters within the capital, intent on undermining the Republican government from within.
First applied in 1936 to rebel sympathizers inside Madrid when four columns of rebel troops were attacking that city
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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