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bluff1

[bluhf]
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adjective, bluff·er, bluff·est.
  1. good-naturedly direct, blunt, or frank; heartily outspoken: a big, bluff, generous man.
  2. presenting a bold and nearly perpendicular front, as a coastline: a bluff, precipitous headland.
  3. Nautical. (of the bow of a vessel) having a full, blunt form.
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noun
  1. a cliff, headland, or hill with a broad, steep face.
  2. North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Canadian Prairie Provinces. a clump or grove of trees on a prairie or other generally treeless area.
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Origin of bluff1

1620–30; perhaps < Middle Low German blaff smooth, even, or < Middle Dutch blaf broad, flat
Related formsbluff·ly, adverbbluff·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. forthright, open, honest; rough, crude. 2. abrupt, steep.

Synonym study

1. See blunt.

Antonyms

1. subtle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bluffer

Historical Examples

  • "One last bluff of a bluffer, as Hilda would say," she muttered.

    Young Hilda at the Wars

    Arthur Gleason

  • Olaf the Swede is after you on account o the gal, I blunted; and he aint no bluffer.

    Friar Tuck

    Robert Alexander Wason

  • "Jab him, Casey; he's only a bluffer," said several of his companions.

    Cattle-Ranch to College

    Russell Doubleday

  • I thought Bill wasn't dead: you're just a bluffer, ain't you, Bill?

    The Great Gold Rush

    W. H. P. (William Henry Pope) Jarvis

  • I was only trying to keep up to my reputation and name as a bluffer.


British Dictionary definitions for bluffer

bluff1

verb
  1. to pretend to be confident about an uncertain issue or to have undisclosed resources, in order to influence or deter (someone)
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noun
  1. deliberate deception intended to create the impression of a stronger position or greater resources than one actually has
  2. call someone's bluff to challenge someone to give proof of his claims
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Derived Formsbluffer, noun

Word Origin

C19: originally US poker-playing term, from Dutch bluffen to boast

bluff2

noun
  1. a steep promontory, bank, or cliff, esp one formed by river erosion on the outside bend of a meander
  2. Canadian a clump of trees on the prairie; copse
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adjective
  1. good-naturedly frank and hearty
  2. (of a bank, cliff, etc) presenting a steep broad face
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Derived Formsbluffly, adverbbluffness, noun

Word Origin

C17 (in the sense: nearly perpendicular): perhaps from Middle Dutch blaf broad
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 bluffer

bluff

v.

1839, American English, poker term, perhaps from Dutch bluffen "to brag, boast," or verbluffen "to baffle, mislead." An identical word meant "blindfold, hoodwink" in 1670s, but the sense evolution and connection are unclear; OED calls it "one of the numerous cant terms ... which arose between the Restoration and the reign of Queen Anne." Extended or figurative sense by 1854. Related: Bluffed; bluffing.

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bluff

n.1

"broad, vertical cliff," 1680s, from bluff (adj.) "with a broad, flat front" (1620s), a sailors' word, probably from Dutch blaf "flat, broad." Apparently a North Sea nautical term for ships with flat vertical bows, later extended to landscape features.

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bluff

n.2

1844 as an alternative name for poker; from bluff (v.). As "an act of bluffing" by 1864.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bluffer

bluff

see call someone's bluff.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.