“Big Lie, (The): Untruth on a large, shameless scale, such as a bold falsehood generated and propagated by an unscrupulous government when a less monumental lie might be less believable propaganda; deceit on a grand scale.
‘There has been going about what Editor & Publisher, the frightened handmaiden of the newspaper industry, calls a Big Lie, to the effect that retail sales held up during the blackout better that anybody could have expected; the Big Lie is a product, A&P, things, of a cabal of salesmen of television and radio time.’ A.J. Liebling, The Press“
Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.