Use the verb mislead to describe what you're doing when you don't tell the whole truth, or when you let someone believe something false.

You mislead someone when you point them in the wrong direction, literally or metaphorically. If you let your cousin think an expensive gift is from you when you actually just sent her a card, you are misleading her. And if you give a tourist directions away from the chain restaurant he's looking for, you are misleading him. Finally, if you think this doesn't really count as lying, you're misleading yourself.

Definitions of mislead

v lead someone in the wrong direction or give someone wrong directions

lead astray, misdirect, misguide
Type of:
conduct, direct, guide, lead, take
take somebody somewhere

v give false or misleading information to

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tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive
beat around the bush, equivocate, palter, prevaricate, tergiversate
be deliberately ambiguous or unclear in order to mislead or withhold information
amplify, exaggerate, hyperbolise, hyperbolize, magnify, overdraw, overstate
to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
downplay one's ability (towards others) in a game in order to deceive, as in gambling
betray, deceive, lead astray
cause someone to believe an untruth
tell romantic or exaggerated lies
knowingly tell an untruth in a legal court and render oneself guilty of perjury
tell a relatively insignificant lie
impersonate, personate, pose
pretend to be someone you are not; sometimes with fraudulent intentions
bamboozle, hoodwink, lead by the nose, play false, pull the wool over someone's eyes, snow
conceal one's true motives from especially by elaborately feigning good intentions so as to gain an end
overemphasise, overemphasize, overstress
place special or excessive emphasis on
befool, cod, dupe, fool, gull, put on, put one across, put one over, slang, take in
fool or hoax
blow, bluster, boast, brag, gas, gasconade, shoot a line, swash, tout, vaunt
show off
aggrandise, aggrandize, blow up, dramatise, dramatize, embellish, embroider, lard, pad
add details to
Type of:
impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to

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