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poker face

an expressionless face:
He can tell a funny story with a poker face.
a person who has or deliberately assumes a poker face:
It is impossible to tell what that poker face is really thinking.
Origin of poker face
An Americanism dating back to 1880-85
Related forms
poker-faced, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for poker-faced
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • poker-faced Callahan showed nothing of what he must be feeling.

    Double Challenge James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • How does it feel, General, to turn your only son over to a poker-faced alien who shoots when you walk near his ship?

    Alien Offer Al Sevcik
  • And if it were that of a practical joker, the poker-faced quality of it was perfect acting.

    Direct Wire Clee Garson
British Dictionary definitions for poker-faced


(informal) having a deliberately expressionless face

poker face

(informal) a face without expression, as that of a poker player attempting to conceal the value of his cards
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
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Slang definitions & phrases for poker-faced



Without expression; showing a neutral mask; deadpan, straight-faced: She's great at poker-faced zingers (1923+)

poker face

noun phrase

  1. An expressionless face; neutral mask; deadpan
  2. A person whose face is usually expressionless (1885+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with poker-faced

poker face

A visage lacking any expression that can be interpreted, as in Whenever Betty attended one of her children's performances, she managed to keep a poker face. This term alludes to the facial expression of a poker player who is expert at concealing his feelings about his hand. [ c. 1880 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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