I had a discussion about the English language with a couple of native speakers (all British) and we got into the topic of lies. One of them said something along the line of:
A white lie is a small lie told with the intention of not hurting the listener.
This goes in line with what's on the corresponding wikipedia page:
White lies are minor lies which could be considered to be harmless, or even beneficial, in the long term.
However, me and another native speaker thought that white lie is something different:
A white lie is when you still tell a truth, but in such a way that you still conceal what you wanted to conceal without actually telling falsehood.
Then I remembered that I've seen this definition before from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, at the beginning of chapter 79:
When I got home Father was sitting at the table in the kitchen and he had made my supper. [..]
He said, "Where have you been?"
And I said, "I have been out."
This is called a white lie. A white lie is not a lie at all. It is where you tell the truth but you do not tell all of the truth.
To put things into context here, he concealed the fact that he was out investigating the incident, yet he didn't lie because he was indeed outside of the house.
If white lie is as described on the wikipedia, then my question is: what's the one that me and the other native speaker thought to be "white lie" that was also described in the Curious Incident?