lead (one) to believe

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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.
See also: believe, lead

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?
See also: believe, lead

lead somebody to beˈlieve (that...)

make somebody think something is true, usually wrongly: I was led to believe that I didn’t need a visa to enter the country, and now it appears that I do.She led me to believe that she was a student, but she wasn’t. OPPOSITE: put/set somebody straight (about/on something)
See also: believe, lead, somebody
References in classic literature ?
The fact that the prisoners within were securely chained led us to believe that surely there must be an avenue of escape from the terrible creatures which inhabited this unspeakable place.
This sign led us to believe that some Christian woman was a captive in the house, and that it was she who had been so good to us; but the whiteness of the hand and the bracelets we had perceived made us dismiss that idea, though we thought it might be one of the Christian renegades whom their masters very often take as lawful wives, and gladly, for they prefer them to the women of their own nation.
Empty rows of seats at the Millennium Stadium led us to believe others weren't so lucky.
THE cult of Bridget Jones may have led us to believe Britain is a country of time starved singletons stuck on the treadmill of life.
Much more interesting, complex, and varied than popular history has led us to believe.
The negative blood cultures before and after appropriate antimicrobial therapy and the short time to detection (which suggests a large initial inoculum) led us to believe that the organism in this case was a true pathogen and not a contaminant.
Our investigation into the rumor has not led us to believe anything like that happened," Air Force spokesman Maj.