Adjective "bluff" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


An attempt to deceive someone into believing that one can or is going to do something.
  1. mass noun 'his game of bluff'
  2. 'The odds hadn't been in my favor as it seemed he was leading me on a series of bluffs and double-bluffs, but always keeping pace and never breaking the stare.'
  3. 'How many games of double-and-triple bluff are going on here?'
  4. 'It would be comforting to think he is playing no more than a game of bluff with the whisky companies, privately sharing their scepticism about strip stamps while forcing them to come up with a convincing alternative.'
  5. 'The psychology of poker involves bluffing and detecting the bluffs of others.'
  6. 'Still, for a man who has a history of bluffs and mind games not just in the Tour but throughout the season, no-one will immediately rule him out here, in a race he has won two times before.'
  7. 'The internet rumour mill has been working overtime, a game of bluff and counter-bluff spreading like a computer virus.'
  8. 'There are probably those who still believe that this is a bluff.'
  9. 'They had informed him that my attempt was no bluff - it was not done to get attention - a half attempt.'
  10. 'They think the government is playing a game of bluff.'
  11. 'We've seen lots of boasts and threats and feints and bluffs, but generally speaking organizations like this only resort to threats when they're not actually capable of real operations.'


Try to deceive someone as to one's abilities or intentions.
  1. 'they bluffed their way past the sentries'
  2. 'She'd read each one of them as they appeared - and she wasn't bluffing - she really knew them and thought about them a lot.'
  3. 'Now it seems he may have been bluffing all along, thus the efficacy of such a coalition seems doubtful.'
  4. 'However, it is entirely legal to try to mislead the opponents about your intentions by bluffing in the bidding, naming a contract completely different from the one you really want to play.'
  5. 'And they know you aren't bluffing because, well, they'd do the same, and they know you've backed yourself into a corner.'
  6. 'Both their livelihoods depend on the ability to bluff and sniff out fraud.'
  7. 'Although my teacher certainly wasn't bluffing, I suspect we were both looking for the same thing: a cheap fix of escapism.'
  8. 'What private assurance did he have from the French that they were bluffing about a veto, or, if he had none, who advised him that they were probably bluffing?'
  9. 'By bluffing and faking, you have to somehow provoke and deceive this system of defense.'
  10. 'I could get into their heads, so I knew if they were bluffing.'
  11. 'He could have been bluffing, but we couldn't take that chance.'
  12. 'there's no point in trying to bluff it out'
  13. 'But the teenager bluffed it out by claiming his date of birth was wrong on his call-up papers, which had been prepared ahead of his birthday.'
  14. '‘There is no doubt that if he continues to live in west Belfast, life could be made very unpleasant for him, but given his past and his knowledge of internal security methods, he probably thinks he can bluff it out,’ the source said.'
  15. 'Aware of his approach, we could only hold our breath and bluff it out.'


Direct in speech or behaviour but in a good-natured way.
  1. 'Megan looked over and up at a tall and bluff boy she's seen at school before standing in the doorway of what seemed to be his compartment.'
  2. 'The man, beneath his coarse and bluff exterior, is haunted by a sense of his own inadequacy.'
  3. 'Intentionally rough, the bluff critic reacts here as well to the spectacular reception of the poem.'
  4. 'One may counter that his music can take the bluff and hearty approach.'
  5. 'Matching his rugged features he cultivated a bluff manner, parading humble origins and ridiculing a man who corrected his accent.'
  6. 'A tough, bluff man, he had no desire to relive ancient trouble.'
  7. 'Blunt Limerick man and bluff Tipperary man did not enjoy the most harmonious of relationships.'
  8. 'HE'S the gruff, bluff detective who's as likely to bawl you out for making bad tea as to snap the handcuffs on a villain - so would you let him loose in a fighter jet?'
  9. 'This is a play about transformations: a boy into a man, a man into a king, enmity to possible love (the wooing scene between the bluff Henry and the enchanting French princess is a delight).'
  10. 'His amiable personality and bluff manner had an impact and he came across as the straightforward soldier, doing his best for the country.'


(of a cliff or a ship's bows) having a vertical or steep broad front.
  1. 'Here a narrow bluff trail crosses open country known today as the East West Ranch, affording views back toward pine forests embracing the town.'
  2. 'Little or no mound fill was added to the westernmost edge of the mound with the contours of this area remaining essentially the same as the natural bluff ridge.'


1. good-naturedly direct, blunt, or frank; heartily outspoken: a big, bluff, generous man.

2. presenting a bold and nearly perpendicular front, as a coastline: a bluff, precipitous headland.

3. Nautical. (of the bow of a vessel) having a full, blunt form. noun

4. a cliff, headland, or hill with a broad, steep face.

5. North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Canadian Prairie Provinces. a clump or grove of trees on a prairie or other generally treeless area.|-

More examples(as adjective)

"brothers can be bluff on phones."

"images can be bluff."

"exteriors can be bluff."

"ways can be bluff."

"threats can be bluff."

More examples++


(bluff)Early 17th century (as an adjective, originally in nautical use): of unknown origin<br>early 18th century (in the sense ‘surly, abrupt in manner’): figurative use of bluff. The current positive connotation dates from the early 19th century.