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Idioms

a white lie

This page is about the idiom a white lie

Meaning

If you tell a white lie, you say something that isn't true in order to be polite or so as not to hurt someone's feelings.

For example

  • Sometimes it's better to tell a white lie than to tell someone a painful truth.

  • I really didn't want to go to my boss's dinner party, so I told a white lie and said I had to go to a friend's wedding party that night.

Quick Quiz

Jack asked me how he looked after his operation, so I told a white lie and said

a. he looked great

b. he looked terrible

c. I'd gone blind and I couldn't see him

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey