big lie

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See also: biglie and Big Lie


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Reportedly from a remark by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, that a big lie is more likely to be believed than a small lie.


big lie (usually uncountable, plural big lies)

  1. (often politics or public policy, often preceded by the) The policy or practice of insistently making a false claim which is so emphatic and grandiose that listeners and readers will reckon that the claim must be true because no one would dare to fabricate something so forceful and extravagant; a false claim produced by the application of this policy or practice.
    • 1981 March 11, Robert Lindsey, "Auschwitz survivor sues for prize for proving Germans gassed Jews," New York Times (retrieved 17 July 2014):
      Lewis Brandon, the institute's director, said of reports of the Holocaust: "It's a myth, using the big lie technique, perpetrated solely to give the Zionists a shield against criticism of Israel."
    • 2008 Feb. 23, Howard Jacobson, "Why mock the expectation of beauty in art?," The Independent (UK) (retrieved 17 July 2014):
      This is the big lie of contemporary art: not nothing being passed off as something, but the make-believe that the division between high and low has been destroyed and that we're all now capable of being artists.
    • 2012 Feb. 1, "Afghanistan: the big lie" (editorial), The Guardian (UK) (retrieved 17 July 2014):
      Joseph Goebbels said that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The big lie told repeatedly about the war in Afghanistan is that the international security assistance force (Isaf) and the Afghan national security forces are pushing the Taliban back.


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