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: a trivial or childish lie


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verb (1)

fibbed; fibbing

intransitive verb

: to tell a fib
fibber noun


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verb (2)

fibbed; fibbing
Choose the Right Synonym for fib

lie, prevaricate, equivocate, palter, fib mean to tell an untruth.

lie is the blunt term, imputing dishonesty.

lied about where he had been

prevaricate softens the bluntness of lie by implying quibbling or confusing the issue.

during the hearings the witness did his best to prevaricate

equivocate implies using words having more than one sense so as to seem to say one thing but intend another.

equivocated endlessly in an attempt to mislead her inquisitors

palter implies making unreliable statements of fact or intention or insincere promises.

a swindler paltering with his investors

fib applies to a telling of a trivial untruth.

fibbed about the price of the new suit

Example Sentences

Noun I have to admit that I told a fib when I said I enjoyed the movie. Is she telling fibs again?
Recent Examples on the Web
Cinader claimed that the original J. Crew was a men’s haberdasher in Princeton, and at first this fib was the only original thing about J. Crew. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2023 Neidle concluded that Zahawi had told a fib to the media and, by extension, to the U.K. public paying his salary. Robert Goulder, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2023 None of it would have really kicked off without a small fib to mom. Dallas News, 2 Feb. 2022 The Washington Post exposed the tale as a fib, and the Biden campaign admitted the correct number was 21 trips, some of which happened while Biden was serving as a U.S. Senator from 1973 to 2009. Chris Pandolfo, Fox News, 16 Dec. 2022 Alice’s mother encouraged her interest in art and unwittingly guaranteed the first notable recognition of her talent by telling a fib. Ed Shanahan, New York Times, 18 Nov. 2022 None of these devices can detect the electrical indicators of a heart attack, which has much greater morbidity and mortality than A-fib. WSJ, 10 Oct. 2022 One key question will be how reliably and accurately the new algorithm being used for the study can catch instances of A-fib. Mario Aguilar, STAT, 1 Sep. 2022 As long as the risk of getting caught dispensing misinformation does not outweigh the reward of using a fib to get a huge threat out of the way and bind an important player closer to you and your cause, then let 'er rip! Dalton Ross,, 5 May 2022
Brain imaging studies show that lying takes greater mental effort than telling the truth, and children’s ability to fib increases hand in hand with their overall cognitive development. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, 17 Nov. 2013 Heather’s advice is to fib and not give your kid’s exact birth date. Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2023 The hider, however, had something the seeker lacked: an algorithm in its programming that allowed it, under certain circumstances, to fib. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 13 Sep. 2010 Sure, a few may fib more than others, but at some point everyone deceives someone. Dalton Ross,, 9 Mar. 2022 Who isn’t going to fib a little and overstate their exercise habits? Amby Burfoot, Outside Online, 15 Jan. 2021 Surprisingly, 82% of charity and volunteer workers have lied to try and land a job, while 75% in the leisure, sport, and tourism fields fib on their CVs. William Thornton |, al, 12 Oct. 2021 When deployed more widely to sniff out passengers, the dogs may also deter would-be travelers inclined to fib about their coronavirus exposure or infection status. Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2021 But Shachar does sympathize with those tempted to fib about a health problem or use an old address to qualify for a vaccine — especially when different areas have different rules. Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fib.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



perhaps by shortening & alteration from fable

Verb (2)

origin unknown

First Known Use


1611, in the meaning defined above

Verb (1)

1675, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1610, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fib was in 1610

Dictionary Entries Near fib

Cite this Entry

“Fib.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an unimportant lie
fib verb
fibber noun

Medical Definition



More from Merriam-Webster on fib

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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