a small or trivial lie; minor falsehood.

verb (used without object), fibbed, fib·bing.

to tell a fib.

Origin of fib

1560–70; short for fibble-fable nonsense, gradational compound based on fable
Related formsfib·ber, fib·ster, nounun·fib·bing, adjective

Synonym study

1. See falsehood. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fib

Contemporary Examples of fib

Historical Examples of fib

  • She led him back to bed, soothing him like a child, lulling him with a fib.

  • You are not telling me a fib, I hope, about keeping up a clear fire?

    Brother Copas

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • Then all that tale about finding the Eagles' Nest without help was a—fib!

    Tabitha's Vacation

    Ruth Alberta Brown

  • "Why, you told a right up and down——fib," said Susy, looking shocked.

    Little Prudy

    Sophie May

  • Of course it does; but you can't have secrecy without a fib or two.

    White Lies

    Charles Reade

British Dictionary definitions for fib



a trivial and harmless lie

verb fibs, fibbing or fibbed

(intr) to tell such a lie
Derived Formsfibber, noun

Word Origin for fib

C17: perhaps from fibble-fable an unlikely story; see fable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fib

1610s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from fibble-fable "nonsense" (1580s), a reduplication of fable.


1680s, from fib (n.). Related: Fibbed; fibbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper