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white lie

  "So you lied," I said.
  "A white lie, but yes. Sorry," she said, trying to smile, but when I didn’t smile back, she turned around in her seat and faced forward.
R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  an unimportant lie (especially one told to be tactful or polite)
 Mark word for later review on this computer
white lies white lie
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  •   "So you lied," I said.
      "A white lie, but yes. Sorry," she said, trying to smile, but when I didn’t smile back, she turned around in her seat and faced forward.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  •   "You told me it was an IQ test," I said.
      "I know, well, that was a white lie," she answered. "It was a test you needed to take to get into the school.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • She did have a photo of him, and once she realized she did, and that she could tell Annie this, and be telling the truth without telling all of it, and that this photo, along with the white lie of knowing his actual last name, would allow her to continue with this man, Kalden, who very well might be a danger to the Circle, she knew she would use this second lie with Annie, and it would buy her more time—more time to rise and fall on Kalden, while trying to ascertain exactly who he was…
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • She tilted her head back and forth, as if caught in a white lie.
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind

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  • So he’d told a little white lie to the rabbi this morning about how she’d converted and how they were raising their boys in the Jewish faith.
    Judy Blume  --  In the Unlikely Event
  • She has no history of criminal behavior, no drug or alcohol use, no history of psychological problems"—a white lie—"and she seems very gentle.
    Scott Pratt  --  An Innocent Client
  • He comforts her with a little white lie.
    Sonia Nazario  --  Enrique’s Journey
  • The white lie surprised Langdon.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • But there are no white lies, there is only the blackness of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • This is called a white lie.
    Mark Haddon  --  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

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  • Only a white lie, my dear Count.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • The prevarication and white lies which a mind that keeps itself ambitiously pure is as uneasy under as a great artist under the false touches that no eye detects but his own, are worn as lightly as mere trimmings when once the actions have become a lie.
    George Eliot  --  Silas Marner
  • Like a white lie?
    Betty Smith  --  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • The little white lies I told on a daily basis, the things I kept in, each time I was not totally honest-I was aware of every one now.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • It was only a white lie.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • ’What we call in English a little white lie that doesn’t hurt anybody.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • Indeed, it seems to me that my odd conduct can be very plausibly explained in terms of my wish to avoid any possibility of hearing any further such nonsense concerning his lordship; that is to say, I have chosen to tell white lies in both instances as the simplest means of avoiding unpleasantness.
    Kazuo Ishiguro  --  The Remains of the Day
  • Though I suppose it isn’t the first lie I’ve told; but as Mary Whitney used to say, a little white lie such as the angels tell is a small price to pay for peace and quiet.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • "Mr. Rich wants you to know these are your instruments to play as often and as long as you please," I tell him, surprised by how easily the white lie comes.
    Steve Lopez  --  The Soloist
  • He had not wanted to disturb his nephew—a white lie.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • So am I! … So tell him a white lie.
    Athol Fugard  --  Master Harold...and the Boys
  • "It’s just a white lie," Andrew elaborates.
    Meg Cabot  --  Queen of Babble
  • Mrs. Larkin, I may have told little white lies in my life, but never a lie that mattered, that hurt any one.
    Zane Grey  --  Riders of the Purple Sage
  • Perhaps the most graceful way, even though it be a white lie, is for the hero to protest his tragic inability—temporary or permanent—from wounds received in the very battle that proved him a hero.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • It wasn’t that far so I decided to walk, and while I did I imagined rooms all over the city that housed archives no one has ever heard of, like last words, white lies, and false descendants of Catherine the Great.
    Nicole Krauss  --  The History of Love
  • (There have been little white lies, of coursetelling him I don’t mind his coming home late; pretending to enjoy a bedroom encounter when in fact it repulsed me; defending some action of his to his face when behind his back I believe he handled it incorrectly-but never a lie of this magnitude!) This afternoon I told him that Tina Coleman was taking me shopping for the nursery.
    Stephen King  --  Rose Red
  • Gospodin Selene is on another call" whereupon you might hear sound of W.C., followed by running water and know that she had told little white lie.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • A white lie is not a lie at all.
    Mark Haddon  --  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • And I said a white lie because I knew that Father didn’t want me to be a detective.
    Mark Haddon  --  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • Which was another white lie.
    Mark Haddon  --  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • A white lie.
    Dan Brown  --  Angels & Demons
  • This is where I get the bold idea to bring him in on a white lie.
    Steve Lopez  --  The Soloist
  • But there are no white lies, there is only the blackness of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • He’d been on my mind a lot that weekend, if only because I was suddenly aware of every little white lie I told, from the "Fine" I replied when my dad asked me how school was on Friday to how I’d nodded when my mom asked me the night before if I was excited about getting back to the Models.
    Sarah Dessen  --  Just Listen
  • And this was a white lie.
    Mark Haddon  --  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • And I said, "He told me the number," which was another white lie.
    Mark Haddon  --  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • This means that everything you say is a white lie because when someone says, for example, "What do you want to do today?" you say, "I want to do painting with Mrs. Peters," but you don’t say, "I want to have my lunch and I want to go to the toilet and I want to go home after school and I want to play with Toby and I want to have my supper and I want to play on my computer and I want to go to bed."
    Mark Haddon  --  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • She thought that no man of the outer world would have said this to her at this moment-she thought of the world’s code that worshipped white lies as an act of mercy-she felt a stab of revulsion against that code, suddenly seeing its full ugliness for the first timeshe felt an enormous pride for the tight, clean face of the man before her-he saw the shape of her mouth drawn firm in self-control, yet softened by some tremulous emotion, while she answered quietly, "Thank you.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
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Associated words [difficulty]:   white lie [5]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Personal Finance, Human Behavior, Philosophy
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