mislead

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
  1. verb
    lead someone in the wrong direction or give someone wrong directions
    synonyms: lead astray, misdirect, misguide
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    type of:
    conduct, direct, guide, lead, take
    take somebody somewhere
  2. verb
    give false or misleading information to
    synonyms: misinform
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    types:
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    lie
    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
    sandbag
    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
    romance
    tell romantic or exaggerated lies
    perjure
    knowingly tell an untruth in a legal court and render oneself guilty of perjury
    fib
    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:
    inform
    impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to
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