throw off the scent

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.

throw somebody off the scent

to give someone false or confusing information so that they will not discover something The police were thrown off the scent for a while by two of the witnesses, who were found later to be lying.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of throw a dog off the scent (to cause a dog to lose the smell that leads it to a person or animal)
See also: off, scent, throw