white lie


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(little) white lie

A lie thought to be insignificant and justified, especially one told to avoid hurting someone's feelings or giving offense. I try to be honest most of the time, but I do tell white lies when I'm worried about upsetting people. A: "Do you actually like her new haircut?" B: "Of course not, but I couldn't tell her that, so I told a little white lie instead."
See also: lie, white

white lie

An untruth told to spare feelings or from politeness, as in She asked if I liked her dress, and of course I told a white lie. This term uses white in the sense of "harmless." [First half of 1700s]
See also: lie, white
References in periodicals archive ?
Little White Lie and Darryll Holland win the 1m handicap yesterday: MARK CRANHAM
BBWE, now owned by Foster's, has positioned White Lie as a wine tailored to women, from the girl-talk name to a promotion with chick-lit author Jennifer Weiner (Good in Bed, In Her Shoes).
The essence of the "great white lie," after all, is the industry's denial that the odds even exist.
A white lie could be the thing that is the catalyst for a deal falling over or termination of employment," she said.
Little White Lie put up another brave fight when third under top weight on rain-softened ground at Newmarket earlier this month and could be worth another chance to defy a career-high handicap mark.
But I think the other 34% of parents surveyed might be telling their own little white lie about telling white lies.
The next category of white lie that emerged in the poll included fibs told to avoid unpleasant or awkward truths.
But not before the newly married actress told one more white lie, saying she was great at martial arts.
My time keeping definitely could be improved, so my last white lie would almost certainly be some kind of elaborate reasoning for my late arrival at a meeting.
That admission made the 1947 story about a weather balloon a white lie.
He said: "It was a white lie in the heat of the moment.
It has all the classic ingredients with a believable situation which rapidly descends into a surreal pantomime as white lie is piled on white lie to hide a secret that had given up the ghost and surrendered long before the interval.
A quarter of the population admit they regularly use the little white lie - usually after they hit the "ignore" button when their mobile rings.