Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to bluff: bluff body
bluff (one's) way
To achieve or accomplish something through deceit or by making a false display. (Usually followed by "into," "out of," or "through.") We tried to bluff our way into the party, but we were immediately recognized as freshmen and told to leave. My brother is a good liar, but even he couldn't bluff his way out of that speeding ticket. I managed to bluff my way through the presentation with a lot of vague ideas and corporate buzz words.
bluff (one's) way into (something)
To gain access to a particular place or thing through deceit. We tried to bluff our way into the party, but we were immediately recognized as freshmen and told to leave.
bluff (one's) way out of (something)
To escape a negative situation through deceit. My brother is a good liar, but even he couldn't bluff his way out of that speeding ticket. I bluffed my way out of taking the test by saying I had a bad headache.
bluff (one's) way through (something)
To use guesswork or a false display as a means of completing or accomplishing something. I managed to bluff my way through the presentation with a lot of vague ideas and corporate buzz words. I hadn't studied for the test, so I just bluffed my way through it.
bluff (someone) into (something)
To mislead someone into doing something, holding some position, or making some decision, often by making a false promise or lying about the purported consequences or result. I used to be able to bluff my little sister into cleaning my room, but she's wary now since I never actually give her the candy I promise. Jeff tried to bluff management into giving him a raise by claiming he had several job offers elsewhere.
bluff (someone) out of (something)
To mislead someone in order to take something from them. I can't believe Jon bluffed me out of ten bucks by claiming he was collecting money for charity.
call (one's) bluff
1. To challenge someone to act on their threat or prove that their claim or boast is true, when one believes they are making a false claim or idle threat (i.e. bluffing). He insisted that he could run faster than me, but when I called his bluff, he suddenly said he had to go home.
2. To disprove a bluff. Whereas the first usage simply indicates a challenge, this usage indicates that the challenge resulted in the disproval. I don't know why he keeps making these outrageous claims. I've been calling his bluff for years and making him look like a fool.
you can't bluff a bluffer
It is very difficult to fool someone who is experienced in the ways of fooling other people. I know Bill thinks he can keep up with these star poker players, but you can't bluff a bluffer—they'll see through him for sure!
bluff one's way out (of something)
to get out of a difficult situation by deception or cunning. I will try to bluff my way out of this mess.
bluff someone into something
to mislead or deceive someone into doing something. Are you trying to bluff me into giving up without a fight? I won't be bluffed into revealing the whereabouts of the safe.
bluff someone out (of something)
to get something away from someone through deception. We bluffed her out of her share of the pie. I bluffed Liz out of her rightful turn to drive.
call someone's bluff
to demand that someone prove a claim or is not being deceptive. All right, I'll call your bluff. Show me you can do it! Tom said, "You've made me really angry, and I'll punch you if you come any closer!" "Go ahead," said Bill, calling his bluff.
call someone's bluff
Expose someone's deception, invite a showdown, as in I don't believe they have enough capital; I'm going to call their bluff. This term comes from poker, where bluffing (pretending) that one has better cards than one's opponents is an intrinsic part of the game, and calling someone's bluff means forcing them to show their cards. By the late 1800s it was being applied to other enterprises. Also see show one's hand.
call someone's bluff
COMMON If someone has made a threat and you call their bluff, you tell them to do what they are threatening to do, knowing that they probably will not do it. Mr Lukanov warned that he would deal severely with any protest actions in the universities. Now that the students have called his bluff, it remains to be seen what Mr Lukanov can do. The Socialists have finally decided to call the opposition's bluff, and it looks as if they have succeeded. Note: In poker (= a card game), a player who is bluffing is playing as though they have good cards when in fact they have bad cards. If another player calls the first player's bluff, they increase their stake (=the amount of money that is risked) to the required amount and ask the first player to show their cards.
call someone's bluffchallenge someone to carry out a stated intention, in the expectation of being able to expose it as a false pretence.
In the game of poker (which was formerly also known by the name of bluff ), calling someone's bluff meant making an opponent show their hand in order to reveal that its value was weaker than their heavy betting suggested.
call somebody’s ˈbluffgive somebody the chance to do what they are threatening to do, because you believe they will not or cannot do it: Next time she offers her resignation, they’ll call her bluff and accept it.
If you call somebody’s bluff in the game of poker, you force them to show their cards.
bluff (one's) way
To deceive someone or accomplish something by making a false display.
call (someone's) bluff
To demand proof for or respond in a challenging way to the claims or threats of another that one presumes to be false.
call someone's bluff, to
To uncover a deception, or challenge someone to carry out a threat or prove a dubious point. The term comes from poker, where the players bet as to who has the best poker hand of them all. To bluff is to bet on a hand one does not believe is the best; to call means to match a bet, that is, bet an equivalent amount. When the cards are uncovered, whoever has the best hand wins the entire pot (all the money the players have put up). The term is American in origin and dates, like American poker, from the early 1800s. It was being transferred to other pursuits by the late nineteenth century; “Where shall we be when that bluff is called,” reads an entry in the Congressional Record (March 1896).
See also: call