Meaning of bluff


Bluff can mean a high cliff, or it can describe a person who is abrupt in manner. The most common usage of bluff is as a verb meaning to pretend. If you bluff at cards, you are pretending to have a better hand than you do.

Many a good crime story ends with a bluff—”I’ve already contacted the police and they’re on their way,” the detective will say when that is not at all the case. The expression “calling your bluff” comes from poker, where you “call” a game to see someone’s actual cards. Calling someone’s bluff means forcing them to admit the truth.

Definitions of bluff
  1. noun

    a high steep bank (usually formed by river erosion)

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    type of:


    a long ridge or pile

  2. adjective

    very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front

    bluff headland”

    bold, sheer


    having a sharp inclination
  3. adjective

    bluntly direct and outspoken but good-natured

    bluff but pleasant manner”
    bluff and rugged natural leader”


    straightforward in means or manner or behavior or language or action
  4. verb

    deceive an opponent by a bold bet on an inferior hand with the result that the opponent withdraws a winning hand


    bluff out

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    type of:

    go, move

    have a turn; make one’s move in a game

  5. verb

    frighten someone by pretending to be stronger than one really is

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    type of:

    affright, fright, frighten, scare

    cause fear in

  6. noun

    the act of bluffing in poker; deception by a false show of confidence in the strength of your cards


    four flush

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    type of:

    deceit, deception, dissembling, dissimulation

    the act of deceiving

  7. noun

    pretense that your position is stronger than it really is

    bluff succeeded in getting him accepted”
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    type of:

    dissembling, feigning, pretence, pretense

    pretending with intention to deceive

Word Family

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