flatter to deceive

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flatter to deceive

To seem better or more promising than someone or something really is. A: "I can't believe that team didn't make the playoffs after starting the season so well." B: "I guess they just flattered to deceive."
See also: deceive, flatter, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

flatter to deceive

encourage on insufficient grounds and cause disappointment.
1913 Field Two furlongs from home Maiden Erlegh looked most dangerous, but he flattered only to deceive.
See also: deceive, flatter, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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The site also carries a good news section-and flatters to deceive by promising a liberal dollop of James Underwood's trenchant comment.