From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbluffbluff1 /blʌf/ verb [intransitive, transitive] PRETENDto pretend something, especially in order to achieve what you want in a difficult or dangerous situation You wouldn’t really tell her. You’re bluffing!bluff your way out of/through/past etc somebody/something (=go somewhere or succeed in doing something by deceiving someone) I hope we’ll be able to bluff our way past the guard. ‘I was with Don, ’ she said, deciding to bluff it out (=continue to pretend something).bluff somebody into (doing) something (=make someone do something by deceiving them)→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusbluff• But Amanda knew him well enough to suspect that he might be bluffing.• The prospect of scaring off awkward media revelations will always provide a great temptation for Attorneys to bluff.• This would be a pity if the Attorney were bluffing.• The complexity arises when all players know how to bluff and double-bluff.• Remember the hands you were dealt, the full-house of love, the ace-high you bluffed on.• If he bids high, is he bluffing, or does he actually hold a strong hand?• They're not bluffing when they say this could start a civil war.bluff it out• Most people pay up straight away, but there are a few who keep trying to bluff it out.• So perhaps we can bluff it out and collect software by day leaving philosophical disquiet to the troubled night.• I shall bluff it out at least until my next dole cheque.• Could he bluff it out, or had he really done it now?bluffbluff2 noun 1 [countable, uncountable]PRETEND an attempt to deceive someone by making them think you will do something, when you do not intend to do it The threat was only a bluff. Whatever you say, you must do it. This isn’t a game of bluff. → double bluff2 → call somebody’s bluff3 [countable]DN a very steep cliff or slope
Examples from the Corpusbluff• His bluff, finally, had been called.• Working as a trader makes me sensitive to the little bluffs people use.• This was a game of bluffs and double bluffs.• Johnson said the threats were pure bluff.• Culley had climbed a small bluff and crouched down on his heels to clear the skyline.• Dove slid down the rope, his feet skipping over the craggy face of the bluff toward the boy.• Most stayed, under the shadowy evergreens, among the tall sycamores and beeches on the bluff above the water.• From the interstate highway which runs nearby, nothing about this bluff looks any different from thousands of others.• The trick is to live long enough to put your young bluffs to use.• When some one calls your bluff, you best ignore him.game of bluff• This can quickly turn into a game of bluff.• Sometimes dealers and clients alike wondered whether the whole thing wasn't just a game of bluff.• Whatever you say, you must be prepared to do; it isn't a game of bluff.• This was a game of bluffs and double bluffs.• This game of bluff was played by the Allies as well.bluffbluff3 adjective HAPPYa bluff person, usually a man, is pleasant but very direct and does not always consider other people He was a bluff no-nonsense administrator.
Examples from the Corpusbluff• a big, bluff man with a nice smileOrigin bluff1 (1600-1700) Probably from Dutch bluffen “to boast, play a kind of card game” bluff2 1. (1800-1900) → BLUFF12. (1600-1700) → BLUFF3 bluff3 (1600-1700) Early Dutch blaf “flat”