a polite fiction

a polite fiction

A general untruth or falsehood that is accepted in place of the truth to maintain politeness, civility, or stability among a given social group. Our parents' marriage was just a polite fiction in our household up until my youngest sister was off to college. By the time the military junta overthrew the dictatorship, the promise of democratic rule was little more than a polite fiction among the citizens of the country. Yeah, my mom and grandmother get along now, but the idea that they've had a pleasant relationship all this time is a polite fiction.
See also: fiction, polite
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The notion that our 90 city councillors "run" Liverpool is a polite fiction. Recent events have shown that.