Farah embraced his family and then took a lap of honour to soak up the adulation of his home crowd, but as with his great friend and fellow legend Usain Bolt, he was denied the win he so desperately wanted in his last individual outing.
Farah admitted after last Saturday's 10,00m victory that his quest for a double World Championship gold would be "tough" - and it showed as the 34-year-old struggled to assert his authority on tonight's race.
But no other athlete - not Haile Gebrselassie, not Kenenisa Bekele - has won four gold medals in the 5,000m at the World Championships; nor indeed a fourth medal of any colour. The better man won.
"I gave 110 per cent", he said in the immediate aftermath.
But he was defeated after failing to mount a recovery in the last 200m in a frantic sprint finish.
Farah, a two-time double world champion and two-time double Olympic champion, finished in 13:33.22.
He said: "I thought it might be possible (to win), but my legs had it. I got boxed in early on - it doesn't normally happen - and couldn't get out".
For Farah, there will be no comeback on the track, as he now moves up the marathon looking to extend his gold medal haul.
British team-mate Andrew Butchart finished eighth in 13mins 38.73secs.
They both failed to clear 1.97 metres - just one centimetre short of Johnson-Thompson's personal best - having jumped 1.95m and Ashley Bryant came 11th the decathlon with 8,049 points.