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barefaced lie

A shameless falsehood. For example, Bill could tell a barefaced lie with a straight face. The adjective barefaced means “beardless,” and one theory is that in the 1500s this condition was considered brazen in all but the youngest males. By the late 1600s barefaced also meant “brazen” or “bold,” the meaning alluded to in this phrase.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for barefaced lie
Historical Examples
  • Miss Ophelia was so indignant at the barefaced lie, that she caught the child and shook her.

    Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • And I, eager to show myself in my new part, told him a barefaced lie.

    The Confession of a Fool August Strindberg
  • Miss Ophelia was so angry at such a barefaced lie that she caught Topsy and shook her.

  • He wrote letters containing the barefaced lie that he intended to attack New York when he intended to attack Cornwallis.

    Stand By The Union Oliver Optic
  • If he tells a barefaced lie once, you fail to trust him again; he loses your respect.

    The Chautauquan, Vol. III, December 1882 The Chautauquan Literary and Scientific Circle

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