Definition of fib in English:



  • A lie, typically an unimportant one.

    ‘parents told little white fibs about out-of-wedlock births’
    • ‘That means smear campaigns, dirty politics and lots and lots of fibs.’
    • ‘Oh, and no stories or fibs, not even little white ones!’
    • ‘He justified the fib by saying the made-up support would be more credible than self-promotion alone.’
    • ‘Often enough, such fibs are harmless and trivial.’
    • ‘These little white fibs give me an uneasy feeling, and I begin to wonder why the shop would lie, when I am here to help save them thousands of dollars in fines.’
    • ‘If we can't allow Chevalier her little fibs, we might as well ban all historical fiction.’
    • ‘With so many fibs and half-truths floating around, it was no wonder that women had trouble making up their minds.’
    • ‘There is a manuscript note by another official which comments on this minute; it refers to ‘a certain old fashioned reluctance to tell a whopping fib, or even a little fib, depending on the number of permanent inhabitants’.’
    • ‘And this is what truly makes running the piece rank propaganda down here, rather than just plain old fibs and/or misinformation.’
    • ‘Even though he'd published all those dreadful fibs.’
    • ‘Although most falsehoods detected in this study were inconsequential, fibs do have financial implications.’
    • ‘And, you know, what it all boils down to is just being a genuine nice guy and never get caught telling fibs.’
    • ‘And a lie from the White House - or a fib or a misrepresentation or a fudged number - can go a long way toward distorting the national discussion.’
    • ‘Is a fib really a fib if the teller is unaware that he is uttering an untruth?’
    • ‘Sailors have long reported sightings of these waves, but reports had mainly been dismissed either as exaggeration or outright fibs.’
    • ‘It's one thing to build a case on fibs only you know to be lies.’
    • ‘Existence in the real world is just not possible without an occasional fib or an expertly timed falsehood.’
    • ‘It is such a common fib because it is such a comforting fib.’
    • ‘True, he made some mistakes and he told a few fibs, they tell me - but he really means well and he intends to fix things and, above all, he has a plan.’
    • ‘This is backed up by an overwhelming 96 per cent of British women who admit they lie, with almost half saying they tell little white fibs most days.’
    lie, untruth, falsehood, made-up story, trumped-up story, invention, fabrication, deception, piece of fiction, fiction, falsification, fairy story, fairy tale, cock and bull story
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  • Tell an unimportant lie.

    • ‘But we also ought to have some sources that won't fib or sugar-coat to appease their key demographic group.’
    • ‘Seth wasn't the only person allowed to fib every now and then.’
    • ‘By the end of the apprenticeship, war had broken out and Archie volunteered for the Royal Air Force, fibbing a little about his age, so that he could get in.’
    • ‘On the other hand, if you give two differing accounts of something, it's reasonable for folks to wonder which time you were telling the truth and which time you were fibbing.’
    • ‘‘Thanks,’ Sandra fibbed, trying not to show her disappointment as she looked at the roses.’
    • ‘John Jay Ray says scientists are fibbing about the Greenhouse Effect.’
    • ‘A Bucks source with no reason to fib claims there is no truth to the report SF Glenn Robinson is on the market.’
    • ‘I had to snap her out of it somehow, so I fibbed a little.’
    • ‘Unless, you know, they're fibbing a little and don't really have any confidence in their actions at all?’
    • ‘But a Cornell professor recently claimed to have established the truth of a curious proposition: We fib less frequently when we're online than when we're talking in person.’
    • ‘I do admit that I fibbed a little and told her that I was a fireman instead of an ice cream man, but both professions involve driving a truck into neighborhoods and saving lives, so as far as I'm concerned it was a white lie.’
    • ‘You said it and then that little tongue came out; that weird way you stick your tongue out between your lips like the little kid who knows he's fibbing.’
    • ‘Perhaps he was fibbing when he said credibility was Salon's most important asset.’
    • ‘However, in our one-to-one yesterday, sans-manager, it soon became apparent that she was fibbing big-style.’
    • ‘I sensed he may have fibbed a bit, but I'll let you be the judge of that.’
    • ‘Besides, you two would have given away our true intentions, so I fibbed a little, is that a crime?’
    • ‘That may explain a lot - the peculiar mindset giving rise to her uneven recent work and, in turn, perhaps even that guy problem about which her friend fibbed so gently.’
    • ‘And publicists, eager to please their clients, are still fibbing to keep their starlets young.’
    • ‘I, by contrast, am fascinated by weather and believe that people claiming not to be are fibbing.’
    • ‘I would be fibbing if I didn't say at times that was frustrating.’
    lie, tell a fib, tell a lie, invent a story, make up a story, dissemble, dissimulate, pretend, depart from the truth
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Mid 16th century: perhaps a shortening of obsolete fible-fable ‘nonsense’, reduplication of fable.