Meaning of be economical with the truth in English:

be economical with the truth


  • Lie or deliberately withhold information.

    ‘the government spokesman was often economical with the truth’
    • ‘At best, voters think the government was economical with the truth, at worst they believe it deliberately lied.’
    • ‘There has never been, and there will never be, any attempt either to hide or to be economical with the truth.’
    • ‘However, after last Tuesday's reshuffle, we can only assume that the First Minister's pronouncements - to us, to others, on the record and on camera - were a case of his being economical with the truth.’
    • ‘Yes, some key players were economical with the truth, and it is a bit surprising that a Prime Minister normally prone to micro-managing potential crises allowed this matter to be handled by others.’
    • ‘Does the pressure group Shoppers In Europe really believe that prices would go down by 15% if the UK joined the euro, or is they just being economical with the truth?’
    • ‘I felt she was economical with the truth when she felt under attack.’
    • ‘Either he has been dramatically misled by his civil servants or, with possible prodding from the special relationship with Washington, he was being extremely economical with the truth.’
    • ‘On the democratic front, successive governments gained power by being economical with the truth, and once in office, lied blatantly about their intentions.’
    • ‘Therefore the Executive's claim to have implemented ‘free personal care’ for the elderly is simply being economical with the truth.’
    • ‘Was the prime minister economical with the truth?’
    dishonest, deceitful, underhand, underhanded, duplicitous, double-dealing, two-faced, dissembling, insincere, false, lying, untruthful, mendacious


    Mid 19th century popularized by a statement given in evidence by Sir Robert Armstrong, British cabinet secretary, in the ‘Spycatcher’ trial (1986), conducted to prevent publication of a book by a former MI5 employee.