Is there a single word or phrase that has the meaning of a "lie that is told to force someone into a specific course of action".

For example, if someone tells you that a restaurant is going out of business, in a ploy to convince you to go there. Later you may tell your friend:

You lied to me!

Is there a better word or phrase for this type of lie?

  • Sounds like a pretext, to me, and a false one.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 2:32

3 Answers 3


Since there was a end goal in mind - which was to force the person to go to the restaurant -, I'd suggest manipulate as the word.

manipulate (according to dictionary.com)


to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner

'You manipulated me!'

You could call it a manipulative lie.

  • ah, yeah that sounds right!
    – WhyEnBe
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 18:19

I'd suggest,

Aw, you really took me for a ride!

take someone for a ride: Fig. to deceive someone. McGraw-Hills Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

You strung me along all right with your restaurant-going-out-of-business story!

string someone along: to fool, cheat, or deceive someone AHD of Phrasal Verbs

  • Thanks, but I feel like "take someone for a ride" doesn't have the negative connotation that I was going for. However I realize that was not in the question. Thanks
    – WhyEnBe
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 19:17

Consider deceit.

Definition: the act or practice of deceiving; concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating.


Example: Although telling the truth and being understood are important in our romantic relationships, secrecy and deceit are just as essential as truth and honesty.

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