sail under false colors

Cultural Dictionary

sail under false colors definition


To behave deceptively; the “colors” of a ship are its identifying flags: “It turned out that the door-to-door sales rep was sailing under false colors and was actually a swindler.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sail under false colors

see under false colors.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Idioms & Phrases
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