Definition of put (or throw) someone off the scent in US English:

put (or throw) someone off the scent

phrase

  • Mislead someone in the course of a search or investigation.

    • ‘Either Joss is trying to throw us off the scent… or he is in denial.’
    • ‘The tale told to Mr Shafi that it was in the post was a deliberate ruse designed to throw him off the scent of that return.’
    • ‘This was important to Kate; she had to try and throw Emily off the scent.’
    • ‘Their understated stance sometimes throws you off the scent.’
    • ‘It is a brilliant way to throw us off the scent, which just reminds us all how vigilant we must be to stopping these evil minds.’
    • ‘It is his job to throw her off the scent by switching on the charm.’
    • ‘Detectives believe the killer of a Yorkshire teenager sent text messages from her phone to throw them off the scent.’
    • ‘We ‘threw her off the scent’ by planting a series of stories that had nothing to do with our strongest messages, but kept her guessing.’
    • ‘That other stuff was just to throw you off the scent while I nicked your MP3 player.’
    • ‘I'm probably getting paranoid, but are BBC employees trying to throw us off the scent by posting red herrings on these sorts of boards?’