throw (someone) off the scent


1. confuse or deceive somebody to prevent them from discovering something






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throw somebody off the scent by telling them a lie

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The idiom 'to throw someone off the scent' means to confuse or deceive someone in order to make them believe something is not true, or to misdirect someone in order to prevent them from achieving their objective. You will often hear this idiom used in relation to investigations where police are misled by false information.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. Mike was starting to get suspicious that we were organizing a surprise birthday party for him, but I think I managed to throw him off the scent.
  2. The criminal threw the police off the scent by claiming he saw someone else commit the murder.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Advance)

  1. I don't want the staff to get wind of the potential takeover, so we have to figure out some way of throwing them off the scent.
  2. Blocking the article from being published will do little to throw the public off the scent of corruption.

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