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n. pl. men·dac·i·ties
1. The condition of being mendacious; untruthfulness.
2. A lie; a falsehood.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -ties
1. the tendency to be untruthful
2. a falsehood
[C17: from Late Latin mendācitās, from Latin mendāx untruthful]
mendacious adj
menˈdaciously adv
menˈdaciousness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(mɛnˈdæs ɪ ti)

n., pl. -ties.
1. the quality of being mendacious; untruthfulness.
2. a lie; falsehood.
[1640–50; < Late Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. untruthfulness; the act or process of lying.
2. a lie or untruth. — mendacious, adj.
See also: Lies and Lying
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



Baron Münchhausen A teller of tall tales; one who embellishes and exaggerates to the point of falsehood; a creator of whoppers; a liar. Baron von Münchhausen (1720-97), a German who served in the Russian army, gained renown as a teller of adventurous war stories. These were collected by Rudolph Erich Raspe and published in 1785 as Baron Münchhausen ‘s Narrative of His Marvelous Travels and Campaigns in Russia. His name has since become synonymous with tall tales and untruths, whether their intent be to entertain or to deceive.

cry wolf To give a false alarm; to use a trick or other deceitful stratagem to provoke a desired response. This well-known expression alludes to the equally well-known fable about a shepherd lad who often cried “wolf to get the attention of his neighbors. When they finally grew wise to his trick, a real wolf appeared and the boy cried “wolf,” to no avail—no one heeded his call. OED citations date the phrase from the late 17th century.

She begins to suspect she is “not so young as she used to be”; that after crying “Wolf” ever since the respectable maturity of seventeen—… the grim wolf, old age, is actually showing his teeth in the distance. (Mrs. Dinah M. Craik, A Woman’s Thoughts About Women, 1858)

Equivalent expressions and fables appear in many nations throughout the world.

draw the long bow See EXAGGERATION.

from the teeth outward To say but not mean; to speak insincerely. This archaic phrase implies that vocal protestations of friendship, trust, etc., are often of questionable value after their utterance.

Many of them like us but from the teeth outward. (John Udall, Diotrephes, 1588)

Lamourette’s kiss See AGREEMENT.

lie through one’s teeth To purposely tell flagrant and obvious falsehoods; to speak maliciously and untruthfully; to prevaricate with blatant disregard for the truth. The use of teeth in this expression serves to underscore the severity of the lie or lies. Variations include lie in one’s teeth, lie in one’s throat, and lie in one’s beard.

out of whole cloth False, fictitious, fabricated, made-up; also cut out of whole cloth.

Absolutely untruthful telegrams were manufactured out of “whole cloth.” (The Fortnightly Review, July, 1897)

The origin of this expression is rather puzzling in that literal whole cloth (i.e., a piece of cloth of the full size as manufactured, as opposed to a piece cut off or out of it for a garment) seems to lend itself to positive figurative senses rather than negative ones. It has been conjectured that the change in meaning came about because of widespread cheating on the part of tailors who claimed to be using whole cloth but who actually used pieced goods, or cloth stretched to appear to be of full width. Thus, ironic use of the phrase may have given rise to the reversal in meaning. On the other hand, it may come from the sense of ‘having been made from scratch,’ that is, ‘entirely made up’ or ‘fabricated.’ The expression dates from the late 16th century.

snow job An attempt to deceive or persuade, usually by means of insincere, exaggerated, or false claims; a line, particularly one used to impress a member of the opposite sex or a business associate; excessive flattery; a cover-up. Snow, especially in large amounts, tends to obscure one’s vision and mask the true nature or appearance of objects on which it falls; thus, the expression’s figurative implications.

a white lie A harmless or innocent fib; a minor falsehood that is pardonable because it is motivated by politeness, friendship, or other praiseworthy concern. This expression draws on the symbolism often associated with the color “white” (purity, harmlessness, freedom from malice). An interesting definition of white lie was offered in a 1741 issue of Gentleman’s Magazine:

A certain lady of the highest quality … makes a judicious distinction between a white lie and a black lie. A white lie is that which is not intended to injure anybody in his fortune, interest, or reputation but only to gratify a garrulous disposition and the itch of amusing people by telling them wonderful stories.

William Paley, on the other hand, presents a different view:

White lies always introduce others of a darker complexion. (The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, 1785)

window dressing Misrepresentation or deceptive presentation of facts, particularly those relating to financial matters, to give a false or exaggerated impression of success or prosperity. Literally, window dressing is a technique of attractively displaying goods in a store window. The expression is figuratively applied to any specious display, but is used most often in contexts implying financial juggling which borders on the illegal, usually obeying the letter, though certainly not the spirit, of the law.

The promise of high duties against other countries deceives nobody: it is only political window-dressing. (Westminster Gazette, March 9, 1909)

Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mendacity - the tendency to be untruthfulmendacity - the tendency to be untruthful  
untruthfulness - the quality of being untruthful
veracity - unwillingness to tell lies
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


[menˈdæsɪtɪ] N (frm) → mendacidad f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


nVerlogenheit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
Evidently, carbon dioxide is a gas that naturally induces mendaciousness and hypocrisy in a certain personality type.
There have been calls to ban the HBO series on the grounds that its portrayal of Soviet mendaciousness is somehow an insult to modern Russia and to the memory of the Soviet empire.
The deliberate insincerity and the mendaciousness of the current NDC leadership, including the newly-elected presidential candidate, who initiated boot-for-boot, calls into question whether they are fit for purpose.
Frederick Crews's Making of an Illusion lays bare Freud's mendaciousness. Sigmund Freud was a dreadful physician but a brilliant salesman who understood all too well what the world wanted to buy.
It is my fate that I have to be the first decent human being; that I know myself to stand in opposition to the mendaciousness of millennia.
Dante, in contrast, discovers in comedy the self-ironic mode necessary to let a truth break through what otherwise would remain human mendaciousness and fraud disguised behind the face of a just man (XVII.7-12).
The "fiscal cliff agreement provides a case in point, with the mass media in general being accessories to the mendaciousness, sometimes by omission.
Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it--all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary--but love it (p 258) Nietzsche (1989) says he forbid himself to feel ressentiment by 'tenaciously clinging for years to all but intolerable situations, places, apartments, and society, merely because they happened to be given by accident: it was better than changing them, than feeling that they could be changed--than rebelling against them' (p 231).
Manvendra Singh has written about the mendaciousness of the Defence Minister but Gen Sinha's conduct showed that this is not a characteristic limited to politicians alone.
Not merely to bear what is necessary, still less conceal it--all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary--but love it.