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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

Examples of fib in a Sentence

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
When fibs are told to prove a social point rather than to elicit an easy laugh, does their moral weight change? Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 15 Sep. 2023 While Doherty’s fib was relatively benign, the video demonstrated how some satirical videos that go viral online have the ability to quickly spread rumors. Daysia Tolentino, NBC News, 18 Aug. 2023 Lying is so common, there are entire movies, television series, and songs dedicated to the art of the fib. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 29 June 2023 Here's another fib, another lie. Nbc Universal, NBC News, 16 Apr. 2023 Topline Fox News on Monday apologized for airing a graphic that baselessly suggested President Joe Biden wanted to force Americans to eat less meat as part of his climate plan—but not before the fib was picked up and exploited by several prominent Republicans. Jack Brewster, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2021 Even those who do turn out to have a-fib that was otherwise asymptomatic may end up being worse off if they’re put on blood thinners, which reduce stroke risk but raise the possibility of serious bleeding—a major concern for anyone who engages in outdoor pursuits. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 14 Dec. 2020 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
While SharkNinja’s claims may seem outrageous, the company might not actually be fibbing. Emma Roth, The Verge, 20 Oct. 2023 One survey concluded that one in four Americans who claimed to floss regularly was fibbing. Naomi Oreskes, Scientific American, 17 Oct. 2023 Most of us have fibbed once or twice about being proficient in Excel or Powerpoint to get a job, only to later learn the skill on the clock and get a couple grey hairs while at it. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 1 Oct. 2023 With this latest indictment, which is a federal criminal probe that goes beyond fibbing on tax forms and mishandling spycraft files and includes a bodycount, Trump has few chances to rise to his predecessor’s heights, at least beyond a shady corner of his partisan bonfire. Philip Elliott, Time, 1 Aug. 2023 Like Bolton, Middleton points to Lagerfeld’s propensity to fib, exaggerate and reinvent himself. Rachel Tashjian, Washington Post, 1 May 2023 Like Bolton, Middleton points to Lagerfeld's propensity to fib, exaggerate and reinvent himself. Rachel Tashjian,, 1 May 2023 In a 2016 paper in Nature Neuroscience (the gold standard journal in the field) Tali Sharot and colleagues at University College London used functional magnetic resonance imaging to observe changes in blood flow to the brain’s emotional centers as people fibbed. Paul Tullis, Town & Country, 30 Apr. 2023 The most common example of the crime involves fibbing about a company's financial information for the sake of evading or minimizing tax payments, or in an effort to hoodwink potential investors, Galluzo said. Max Zahn, ABC News, 7 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fib.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an unimportant lie
fib verb
fibber noun

Medical Definition



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