white lie

noun
a minor, polite, or harmless lie; fib.
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World English Dictionary
white lie
 
n
a minor or unimportant lie, esp one uttered in the interests of tact or politeness

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

white lie

An untruth told to spare feelings or from politeness, as in She asked if I liked her dress, and of course I told a white lie. This term uses white in the sense of "harmless." [First half of 1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
And other than a subtle white lie here and there, he is completely genuine to them.
The first cousin of the white lie is the idle boast-not quite so harmless, but not nefarious, either.
Synonyms
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