OK, so there's the term "whitewashing" which means to omit or downplay mention of negative aspects of something, in order to mislead someone else to overlook those negative aspects.

Is there a similar term (not necessarily invoking malicious intent, but rather something that leans more towards neglect) in the context of teaching or demonstration?

An example is Mickey in the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene of Fantasia; he learns from the wizard how to animate the brooms, but not how to stop them.

Or teaching someone how to fly a plane without showing them how to land.

  • 2
    How about negligent?
    – TrevorD
    Oct 11, 2013 at 0:21
  • His reach exceeds his grasp.
    – bib
    Oct 11, 2013 at 2:03
  • Going off half-cocked.
    – bib
    Oct 11, 2013 at 2:06

3 Answers 3


The phrasal verb gloss over may apply. Its senses include (1) “To cover up a mistake or a crime; to hush up or whitewash” and (2) “To treat something with less care than it deserves; to skimp”. In the question's context, the second sense is more applicable. An example: “The lesson glossed over the details of opening the door.”


Idealize: regard or represent as perfect or better than in reality.

Romanticize: deal with or describe in an idealized or unrealistic fashion; make (something) seem better or more appealing than it really is. (From "romantic": characteristic of an ideal love affair). For example, see this article, titled "Romanticizing the Villains of the Civil War". Also, see this article:

A more common meaning has less to do with romance, but also involves wearing rose-colored glasses. If you romanticize war, you're making it sound like a glorious, beautiful thing.


to hush up, to tuck away some details

to keep for oneself / to keep silent about some drawbacks

to fail to say it all

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