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 formspok·er-faced, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for poker-faced

Contemporary Examples of poker-faced

  • He just sat there, poker-faced, as the madcap pie-thrower set upon his boss.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Murdoch’s Secret Weapon

    Lloyd Grove

    July 21, 2011

  • "Just enjoying myself," Bloomberg answered, poker-faced and giving away nothing.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama Trounces Leno

    Lloyd Grove

    May 2, 2010

Historical Examples of poker-faced

  • 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

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.