an unimportant lie
fib - lie
A ‘fib’ is a trivial untruth that is made without malice and typically does not have any major repercussions. It is generally told to spare somebody’s feelings or to avoid getting into trouble for something minor. That being said, it is still viewed in a negative light, just not as negative as an outright lie.
I didn’t like my wife’s new haircut, but when she asked me what I thought of it I decided to fib to spare her feelings.
Jack is known to be a bit of a fibber, so it can be hard to figure out when to believe him or not.
Alice told me that she was late to work today because her car broke down, but I know she’s fibbing because I overheard her tell her friend that she had slept in.