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bluff  1 (blŭf)
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v. bluffed, bluff·ing, bluffs
v.intr.
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.
v.tr.
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.
n.
The act or practice of bluffing.
Idiom:
bluff (one's) way
To deceive someone or accomplish something by making a false display.

[Origin unknown.]

bluffa·ble adj.
bluffer n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
bluff 2 (blŭf)
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n.
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.]

bluffly adv.
bluffness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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