lead to believe
Also found in: Legal.
lead (one) to believe
To cause one to believe something, especially if it is untrue. The sales agent led me to believe I would continue paying the lower price if I signed up for the TV service, but when I got my first bill I learned that wasn't the case. He led us to believe he had a graduate degree in economics. Turns out he didn't even graduate from high school.
lead someone to believe something
Fig. to imply something to someone; to cause someone to believe something untrue. But you led me to believe that this watch was guaranteed! Did you lead her to believe that she was hired as a clerk?