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bluff 1

v. bluffed, bluff·ing, bluffs
1. To engage in a false display of confidence or aggression in order to deceive or intimidate someone: The management debated if there would really be a strike or if the union was bluffing.
2. To make a display of aggression, as by charging or baring the teeth, as a means of intimidating another animal.
3. To try to mislead opponents in a card game by heavy betting on a poor hand or by little or no betting on a good one.
1. To deceive or intimidate (someone) by a false display of confidence or aggression.
2. To try to mislead (opponents) in a card game by heavy betting on a poor hand or by little or no betting on a good one.
3. To start but not carry out (an action) as a means of deceiving or intimidating another: The pitcher bluffed a throw to first base.
The act or practice of bluffing.
bluff (one's) way
To deceive someone or accomplish something by making a false display.

[Origin unknown.]

bluff′a·ble adj.
bluff′er n.

bluff 2

A steep headland, promontory, riverbank, or cliff.
adj. bluff·er, bluff·est
1. Having or showing a rough and blunt but not unkind manner: "the great big bluff guests who told bawdy jokes and got up early to watch the sun rise" (Erin McGraw).
2. Having a broad, steep front: the boat's bluff bow.

[Probably from obsolete Dutch blaf or Middle Low German blaff, broad.]

bluff′ly adv.
bluff′ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.bluffly - in a blunt direct manner; "he spoke bluntly"; "he stated his opinion flat-out"; "he was criticized roundly"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Portius can bluffly demand that his brother "quell the tyrant Love" and can encourage him to follow the example of Juba, whose unqualified "sense of honour, and desire of lame, / Drive the big passion back into his heart," yet neither Portius nor indeed Juba ever attains this lofty ideal of emotional self-conquest (1.1.9).
Stalin, who could be bluffly charming when it suited him, extended a short interview into a three-hour conversation that left Wells thinking that one of the most duplicitous of tyrants was honest.
The General, it seems, would bluffly confirm Luce Irigaray's point that `woman .

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