1 [bluhf]
adjective, bluffer, bluffest.
good-naturedly direct, blunt, or frank; heartily outspoken: a big, bluff, generous man.
presenting a bold and nearly perpendicular front, as a coastline: a bluff, precipitous headland.
Nautical. (of the bow of a vessel) having a full, blunt form.
a cliff, headland, or hill with a broad, steep face.
North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Canadian Prairie Provinces. a clump or grove of trees on a prairie or other generally treeless area.

1620–30; perhaps < Middle Low German blaff smooth, even, or < Middle Dutch blaf broad, flat

bluffly, adverb
bluffness, noun

1. forthright, open, honest; rough, crude. See blunt. 2. abrupt, steep.

1. subtle. Unabridged


2 [bluhf]
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.
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.
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.

1665–75; perhaps < Low German bluffen to bluster, frighten; akin to Middle Dutch bluffen to make a trick at cards

bluffable, adjective
bluffer, noun
unbluffable, adjective
unbluffed, adjective
unbluffing, adjective

1. deceive, fool, dupe, delude, hoodwink. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bluff1 (blʌf)
1.  to pretend to be confident about an uncertain issue or to have undisclosed resources, in order to influence or deter (someone)
2.  deliberate deception intended to create the impression of a stronger position or greater resources than one actually has
3.  call someone's bluff to challenge someone to give proof of his claims
[C19: originally US poker-playing term, from Dutch bluffen to boast]

bluff2 (blʌf)
1.  a steep promontory, bank, or cliff, esp one formed by river erosion on the outside bend of a meander
2.  (Canadian) a clump of trees on the prairie; copse
3.  good-naturedly frank and hearty
4.  (of a bank, cliff, etc) presenting a steep broad face
[C17 (in the sense: nearly perpendicular): perhaps from Middle Dutch blaf broad]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1839, Amer.Eng., poker term, perhaps from Du. bluffen "to brag, boast," or verbluffen "to baffle, mislead." An identical word meant "blindfold, hoodwink" in 1670s, but the sense evolution and connection are unclear. OED calls it, "one of the numerous cant terms ... which arose between the Restoration
and the reign of Queen Anne."

1680s, from Du. blaf "flat, broad," apparently a North Sea nautical term for ships with flat vertical bows, later extended to landscape features.

see bluff (n).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Ride through backcountry, rugged terrain, forests and red bluffs and discover
  secluded ponds and meadows.
Watch for birds that inhabit the bluffs and wetlands along the waterway.
Explore the bluffs and short hikes near the park's northeast entrance.
Fay said he had been charged numerous times in the past, but nearly all had
  been bluffs.
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