bluff

2
[ bluhf ]
/ blʌf /
|||

verb (used with object)

to mislead by a display of strength, self-confidence, or the like: He bluffed me into believing that he was a doctor.
to gain by bluffing: He bluffed his way into the job.
Poker. to deceive by a show of confidence in the strength of one's cards.

verb (used without object)

to mislead someone by presenting a bold, strong, or self-confident front: That open face makes it impossible for him to bluff.

noun

an act or instance or the practice of bluffing: Her pathetic story was all a bluff to get money from us. His assertive manner is mostly bluff.
a person who bluffs; bluffer: That big bluff doesn't have a nickel to his name.

Idioms

    call someone's bluff, to expose a person's deception; challenge someone to carry out a threat: He always said he would quit, so we finally called his bluff.

Origin of bluff

2
1665–75; perhaps < Low German bluffen to bluster, frighten; akin to Middle Dutch bluffen to make a trick at cards
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bluffing

British Dictionary definitions for bluffing (1 of 2)

bluff

1
/ (blʌf) /

verb

to pretend to be confident about an uncertain issue or to have undisclosed resources, in order to influence or deter (someone)

noun

deliberate deception intended to create the impression of a stronger position or greater resources than one actually has
call someone's bluff to challenge someone to give proof of his claims
Derived Formsbluffer, noun

Word Origin for bluff

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

British Dictionary definitions for bluffing (2 of 2)

bluff

2
/ (blʌf) /

noun

a steep promontory, bank, or cliff, esp one formed by river erosion on the outside bend of a meander
Canadian a clump of trees on the prairie; copse

adjective

good-naturedly frank and hearty
(of a bank, cliff, etc) presenting a steep broad face
Derived Formsbluffly, adverbbluffness, noun

Word Origin for bluff

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

Idioms and Phrases with bluffing

bluff

see call someone's bluff.


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