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Bluff   /bləf/   Listen
Bluff

verb
(past & past part. bluffed; pres. part. bluffing)
1.
Deceive an opponent by a bold bet on an inferior hand with the result that the opponent withdraws a winning hand.  Synonym: bluff out.
2.
Frighten someone by pretending to be stronger than one really is.



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"Bluff" Quotes from Famous Books



... any sort. They leaped and plunged as the wagon scrambled, jerked, careened, stuck, detoured, and finally got through. There were miles of such going—heart-breaking miles—and at the end we paused at the top of a sixty-foot bluff and looked ...
— Tenting To-night - A Chronicle of Sport and Adventure in Glacier Park and the - Cascade Mountains • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... are commonplace, with bourgeois cunning written on the heavy features; one is bluff, another stolid, a third bloated, a fourth stately. The sculptors have dealt fairly with all, and not one has the lineaments of utter baseness. To Cristoforo Solari's statues of Lodovico Sforza and his wife, Beatrice d'Este, the ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... this queerly assorted trio together, and, though they quarrelled furiously, nevertheless, with the passage of time their own weaknesses and those of the Maggie had aroused in each for the other a curious affection. While Captain Scraggs frequently "pulled" a monumental bluff and threatened to dismiss both Gibney and McGuffey—and, in fact, occasionally went so far as to order them off his ship, on their part Gibney and McGuffey were wont to work the same racket and resign. With the subsidence ...
— Captain Scraggs - or, The Green-Pea Pirates • Peter B. Kyne

... mixed brown and dingy gray, which, as they drew near, was shown as the action of iron rust on black and lead-colored paint. Here and there were outlines of painted ports. Under the stump of a shattered bowsprit projected from between bluff bows a weather-worn figurehead, representing the god of the sea. Above on the bows were wooden-stocked anchors stowed inboard, and aft on the quarters were iron davits with blocks intact—but no falls. In a few of the dead-eyes in the channels could be seen frayed rope-yarns, ...
— Great Sea Stories • Various

... wisdom, held out a five-franc piece, but the driver shrugged his shoulders disdainfully. He saw that the moment had come to bluster so he descended from his box fully prepared to carry out his bluff. He started in to abuse the two Americans whom in his ignorance ...
— The Lion and The Mouse - A Story Of American Life • Charles Klein

... life now, and, our last chance gone, we stood riveted to the spot, watching him. On the bluff across the river stood his half-blood mother, the raw March wind whipping her skirts about her knees; but her strained, ashen face showed she never felt its chill. Below with his feet almost in the ...
— The Moccasin Maker • E. Pauline Johnson

... Edward, through many a distant place, Had wandering pass'd, a thoughtless ranger; And, cheer'd by a smile from beauty's face, Had laugh'd at the frowning face of danger. Fearless Ned, Careless Ned, Never with foreign dames was a stranger; And huff, Bluff, He laugh'd at ...
— The Indian Princess - La Belle Sauvage • James Nelson Barker

... he was bluffing, but I kept my mouth shut. A bluff was as good as anything else, ...
— Let'em Breathe Space • Lester del Rey

... in, big and bluff and easy-going. "Hittin' the trail, boys? Good enough. Hope you find the thieves. If you do, play yore cards close. They're treacherous devils. Don't take no chances with 'em. I left an order at the store for you to draw on me for another pair of boots ...
— Gunsight Pass - How Oil Came to the Cattle Country and Brought a New West • William MacLeod Raine

... made cotton and corn his chief reliance. He appears to have salved his conscience in this relapse by devoting part of his income to the reclamation of a great marsh on his estate. He operated two plantations, the one at his home, "Silver Bluff," the other, "Cathwood," near by. The field force on the former comprised in 1850 sixteen plow hands, thirty-four full hoe hands, six three-quarter hands, two half hands and a water boy, the whole rated at fifty-five full ...
— American Negro Slavery - A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime • Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

... the bluff of a democratic crusade must be called, so must the knight-leader of the crusade be exposed to the critical eyes of the world. Here was the President, suddenly elevated to the position of a world leader with the almost pathetic trust of the peoples of the world. ...
— Jailed for Freedom • Doris Stevens

... whatever you say, Jenkins. If you're sure o' the way back, as I've no doubt you are, why, there couldn't be greater fun than to go after the buffalo on our own account. And—I say, look there! Isn't that somethin' like them on the top o' the far bluff yonder? A fellow like you, wi' sharp sailor-eyes, ought to be able to ...
— The Buffalo Runners - A Tale of the Red River Plains • R.M. Ballantyne

... pursuit was relentless; on, on over the rolling hills swept the famishing troopers, and again the Spartan band turned at bay, firmly intrenched on a bluff as before. This was the last stand—nature was exhausted. The soldiers surrounded them, and Major Wessells turned the handle of the human vise. The command gathered closer about the doomed pits—they crawled ...
— Crooked Trails • Frederic Remington

... when it comes, Harry!" he said. He spoke in the same bluff, hearty way he always did. He fairly shouted in my ear. "When did you hear from the boy? Are you ...
— A Minstrel In France • Harry Lauder

... responding to the howls of prowling coyotes, and saw, by the flickering lights, the smoky lodges of the warriors. The men crept up to within a few hundred yards of the slumbering camp, when they again crossed the creek down which they had been marching, and ascended its eastern bluff. Here they encountered a large herd of ponies, some of whom neighed anxiously as the strange apparition filed past them, but luckily ...
— The Battle of the Big Hole • G. O. Shields

... to this observation by turning towards the bold, bluff speaker one of those slow, dubious glances which, accompanied by a slight motion of the hand, and a gentle depression of the head to one side, may be either interpreted as a mute assent to what is said, ...
— Quentin Durward • Sir Walter Scott

... evening some one saw Peter Junior and his cousin walking together up the bluff where the old camp had stood, toward the sunset. The path had many windings, and the bluff was dark and brown, and the two figures stood out clear and strong against the sky of gold. That was the last seen of either of the young men in the village. The one who ...
— The Eye of Dread • Payne Erskine

... its gloomy mouth after a quick lope of an hour, they discovered the ghastly remains of twelve mutilated bodies. These were gathered up and buried in one grave, on the top of the bluff ...
— The Old Santa Fe Trail - The Story of a Great Highway • Henry Inman

... being a valley between them and the hill I was on, and meandering along through this valley from the west I could trace the course of the Finke by its timber for some miles. To the east a mass of high and jumbled hills appeared, and one bluff-faced mount was more conspicuous than the rest. Nearer to me, and almost under my feet, was the gorge through which the river passes, and it appears to be the only pass through this chain. I approached the precipice overlooking the gorge, and found the channel so flooded ...
— Australia Twice Traversed, The Romance of Exploration • Ernest Giles

... ship, and the case of poor Ben set forth in strong colors, several, who would not dream of going themselves, were busy in talking it up to others, who, they thought, might be tempted to accept it; and, at length, a Boston boy, a harum-scarum lad, a great favorite, Harry May, whom we called Harry Bluff, and who did not care what country or ship he was in, if he had clothes enough and money enough,— partly from pity for Ben, and partly from the thought he should have "cruising money'' for the rest of his ...
— Two Years Before the Mast • Richard Henry Dana

... hard, bluff soldier, who has as much iron in his composition as any man of his time sprang one of those human surprises that even war fails to emulate—when he listened time after time to the record that he loved better than most music, "I know that my ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... for bluff, this is one. I'll just go and wring the truth from Louisa before she is an ...
— Good Luck • L. T. Meade

... rate, I feel inclined to try it. I am glad the colonel is going to travel with us, as I shall be able to question him about the details of his cure. He seems a bluff, genial fellow, and though I don't expect to enjoy his companionship much, I hope to derive ...
— Do and Dare - A Brave Boy's Fight for Fortune • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... the worst type for the Teacher until the right boy comes along; there is no use in the Teacher worrying himself until he does, because of the bully's bluster and bluff. Usually the normal boy will accept him at his face value, and it is only when a lad with self-assertion comes along that the sparks will fly. Then the bully will have to back down or take his medicine. A fight between boys is usually not a good thing, ...
— The Boy and the Sunday School - A Manual of Principle and Method for the Work of the Sunday - School with Teen Age Boys • John L. Alexander

... the inlets, which break into numerous islands the low flat seaboard, their canoe at last shot into the broad stream of the Savannah; and bending their course upward they soon reached a bold, pine-crowned bluff, at the foot of which they landed to inspect ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... an ostrog that was only about twenty or thirty versts distant. They had not proceeded far before Spiridon saw the tracks of some reindeer; he therefore made his companions stop, and, taking his gun, walked gently round a high bluff on the coast, whither the deer had gone, and had the good fortune to shoot one of them. His companions no sooner heard the noise of the gun than they came to him. They cut the throat of the deer immediately, ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various

... piqued Buck's curiosity tremendously. What were they talking about so continually? Where had the outlaws gone, and why hadn't they been pursued further? Had the whole pursuit been merely in the nature of a bluff? And if so, whom had it been intended to deceive? These and a score of other questions passed through his mind as he sat there waiting, but when the dull rumble of the wagon started them all into activity, he had not succeeded in finding any ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... harpooners round Cape Horn into the Pacific. And the mahogany and bird's-eye maple cabin, which once held rosewood card-tables and brilliant coffee-urns, and in which many a bottle of champagne, and many a bright eye sparkled, now accommodates a bluff Quaker captain from Martha's Vineyard; who, perhaps, while lying with his ship in the Bay of Islands, in New Zealand, entertains a party of naked chiefs and savages at dinner, in place of the packet-captain ...
— Redburn. His First Voyage • Herman Melville

... was the parson's pet antipathy. The bluff old minister, with his brusque manner and big heart, would have no truck with the man who never went to church, was perpetually in liquor, and never spoke good of his neighbors. Yet he entered upon the interview fully resolved not to be betrayed ...
— Bob, Son of Battle • Alfred Ollivant

... treetops, heading phlegmatically for a rocky bluff. A gush of flame from its underjets and it shouldered heavily upward, just missing the jagged crest. A gout of fire forward, another, and it went into a long flat glide, following the fall of a foothill to the plain beyond. It held course and reduced speed, letting the ground billow up to it rather ...
— Breaking Point • James E. Gunn

... to be found the churches, schools, theatres, asylums, and hospitals, academies of law and medicine, governor's palace, public library, and museum, and an interesting public garden on the edge of the bluff, overlooking the bay. The city is served by four street-car lines, connecting the suburbs with both the upper and lower towns. In 1906 contracts were made to reconstruct some of these lines for electric traction. The railways radiating from the city to inland points ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 - "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy" • Various

... her with an amused, indulgent, almost paternal expression on his face. In contrast with his big, bluff physical personality, his iron-gray hair and bull-dog expression Laura appeared more youthful and girlish than ever. A stranger catching a glimpse of the terrace might have taken them for father and daughter engaged in an ...
— The Easiest Way - A Story of Metropolitan Life • Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow

... back Amain two steeds of glistering black And eyeballs white-rimmed fearfully, And nostrils red, and crests flying free; Who held them pawing at the verge, Tossing their spume up, as the surge Flung high against some seaward bluff. Nothing he spake, or smooth or gruff, But drave his errand, gazing down Upon the Maid, whose blown back gown Revealed her maiden. Still and proud Stood she among her nymphs, unbowed Her comely head, undimmed her eye, Inseparate her ...
— Helen Redeemed and Other Poems • Maurice Hewlett

... a touch of doubt. I could see that these words, by lifting the accusation from the wholly absurd to the somewhat plausible, had impressed him. Once again I was gripped by the uneasy feeling that Sam had an unsuspected card to play. This might be bluff, but it had ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... agitations and its strife? [1] When on my table shall be seen Pythagoras's kinsman bean, And bacon, not too fat, embellish My dish of greens, and give it relish! Oh happy nights, oh feasts divine, When, with the friends I love, I dine At mine own hearth-fire, and the meat We leave gives my bluff hinds a treat! No stupid laws our feasts control, But each guest drains or leaves the bowl, Precisely as he feels inclined. If he be strong, and have a mind For bumpers, good! if not, he's free To sip his liquor leisurely. And then the talk our banquet rouses! ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... overtaken and killed by hostile Indians. Day after day the woods were scoured in the hope of finding the missing companion, but it seemed vain. A fort was erected for the protection of the party on a high bluff, and named for the lost hunter, Prudhomme. At last they met some Chickasaw Indians, and messages of amity were exchanged through them with the people of their village, not far distant. Soon afterwards Prudhomme was discovered, half-dead from ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... voice tried. I was out to dinner with the same crowd that she was with the other evening. Arthur and I were sitting at the table in the restaurant waiting for the rest of the crowd when in she canters, dressed up regardless like a queen in a book, in a low-neck gag. She run a bluff as if she just had it made, but if a certain K. & E. wardrobe mistress ever catches her with it on this party is due to get pinched for petty larceny. As soon as she spotted me she rushed over and yelped, 'Oh, Sabrina, I'm charmed to see you.' And ...
— The Sorrows of a Show Girl • Kenneth McGaffey

... of the Lees, but to-day the property of others, stands on a picturesque bluff on the southern bank of the Potomac, and is a house of very considerable size. It is built in the form of the letter H. The walls are several feet in thickness; in the centre is a saloon thirty feet in size; and surmounting each wing ...
— A Life of Gen. Robert E. Lee • John Esten Cooke

... fleet was commanded by Sir William Phips, a bluff, short-tempered sailor. He sailed up the St. Lawrence and anchored a little ...
— This Country Of Ours • H. E. Marshall Author: Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall

... North Midian, and equal to those of all the towns we have seen put together, begin with the palm-orchard on the left bank. The Jebel el-Safr shows the foundations of what may have been the arx. It is a double quoin, the taller to the south, the lower to the north, and both bluff in the latter direction. The dip is about 45 degrees; the upper parts of the dorsa are scatters of white on brown-yellow stone; and below it, where the surface has given way, appear mauve-coloured strata, as if stained by manganese. Viewed in profile from the west, the ...
— The Land of Midian, Vol. 1 • Richard Burton

... hills away ahead. Think this the ridge east of Michikamau. Hungry all the time. Down to 40 lbs. of flour, 8 lbs. tea, about 20 lbs. pea meal, a bit of sugar, bacon, baking powder and dried apple, just a bit of rice. Saw mountains ahead from a bluff just below our evening camp. River runs north apparently; it must therefore be Low's Northwest River I think. Mountains look high and rugged, 10 to 25 miles away. Ought to get good view of country from there, and get caribou and bear. Moccasins all rotten and full of holes. ...
— A Woman's Way Through Unknown Labrador • Mina Benson Hubbard (Mrs. Leonidas Hubbard, Junior)

... the pulpit itself without a trace of the same sea-taste that had achieved the ladder and the picture. Its panelled front was in the likeness of a ship's bluff bows, and the Holy Bible rested on a projecting piece of scroll work, fashioned after a ship's ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... answered. "When I have thrown my whole soul into anything, I lose my own identity for many hours. I wish," she continued, "that I did not so thoroughly enter into those characters. I hardly realize this moment whether I am Anne Boleyn, the unhappy wife of bluff King Hal, or whether I am ...
— A Mad Love • Bertha M. Clay

... a station at the mouth of the St. Peters, on the Mississippi, have established themselves there, and those who were ordered to the mouth of the Yellow Stone, on the Missouri, have ascended that river to the Council Bluff, where they will remain until the next spring, when they will proceed to the place of their destination. I have the satisfaction to state that this measure has been executed in amity with the Indian tribes, and that it promises to produce, in regard to them, all the advantages which ...
— State of the Union Addresses of James Monroe • James Monroe

... breezes at South and South-East, and cloudy weather, the greater part of this day. At 2 p.m. the Master return'd with an account that there was Anchorage in 4 fathoms Water and a good bottom close to the Eastward of the first black bluff point which is on the East side of Cape St. Vincent, at the very Entrance of the Cove we saw from the Ship (which I named Vincent Bay). Before this Anchoring ground lay several Rocky Ledges covered with Sea Weed: on these Ledges I was informed was not less than 8 or 9 fathoms, but ...
— Captain Cook's Journal During the First Voyage Round the World • James Cook

... shaped like a window, at the back end of the cabin, and this the boy opened. He thrust his head out, and found he was looking down the face of the bluff straight into the stream ...
— Frank Merriwell's Bravery • Burt L. Standish

... upon the table and the other on his hip, as complete a picture of a man who was not to be moved from a fixed purpose as ever I saw. It was in vain that we all three talked to him and endeavoured to persuade him; he listened with that gentleness which went so well with his bluff bearing, but was evidently no more shaken by our representations that his place ...
— Bleak House • Charles Dickens

... of the Brains,"[1] Hawk Carse, Eliot Leithgow, and the Negro Friday broke free from Dr. Ku's secret lair, his outwardly invisible asteroid, and in doing so thought they had destroyed the Eurasian and all his works, including the infamous machine of coordinated brains. In the third episode, "The Bluff of the Hawk,"[2] it will be remembered that the companions came in Dr. Ku's self-propulsive space-suits to Satellite III of Jupiter; and that there Carse learned that in reality the Eurasian and the brains had survived, ...
— The Passing of Ku Sui • Anthony Gilmore

... and final surrender of Fort Sumter, the author traces the progress of the Union armies through all the chief battles of the war, giving vivid and glowing descriptions of the struggles at Big Bethel, Bull Run, Wilson's Creek, Ball's Bluff, Mill Spring, Pea Ridge, the fight between the 'Merrimac' and 'Monitor,' Newbern, Falmouth Heights, Pittsburg Landing, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Cedar Mountain, Brandy Station, Manassas or Second Bull Run, Chantilly, Antietam, Corinth, Fredericksburg, ...
— Sword and Pen - Ventures and Adventures of Willard Glazier • John Algernon Owens

... Lonsdale Point, when the light would be seen by vessels coming from the eastward as soon as they rounded Cape Schank. It would also serve as a leading mark for navigating the southern channel, but the tower would require to be of considerable height to show the light over Shortland's Bluff to vessels ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... me to join them was a mere lieutenant, yet he never consulted anyone about taking me in. Was I not an American? Each day some officer was told off to arrange matters with the station masters. They moved their trains without bluff or bluster. Sometimes the Soviets hindered them in order to get what guns and supplies they could. But not till weeks after they started did any Soviet have the temerity to try to stop or disarm the men. The Russian masses were quickly won to friendship for the Czechs and the only ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... "But, if he takes me in, I must make a bluff of sending for my things. No; either I will be turned out in five minutes, or if he accepts me as a patient I will be there until midnight. If I cannot get the girl out of the house by midnight, it will mean that I can't get ...
— The Lost House • Richard Harding Davis

... this little niece of mine had never seen the sea, and I wanted to let her have her first view from the Bluff Crag.' ...
— Bluff Crag - or, A Good Word Costs Nothing • Mrs. George Cupples

... was to bully, bluff or beg one of the anti-machine Senators to desert to the machine, which would have given the machine twenty-one votes, enough for concurrence, or, failing in this, to force the attendance of Senator Stetson, which would have tied the Senate, thus giving ...
— Story of the Session of the California Legislature of 1909 • Franklin Hichborn

... mistaken his directions when he emplaced his howitzers behind a bluff in the old No Man's Land? Didn't he know that the German infantry was only the other side of the knoll and that two or three score German batteries were in range? I looked for a tornado to descend forthwith upon the gunners' heads. I liked ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... "From t' bluff of t' head Uncle Johnnie had spied old and young seals on t' ice before most of t' boys was out o' bed; and us had a dozen or so on t' rocks before t'others was out t' ice at all. As those near t' land got cleaned up, us went a bit farther ...
— Labrador Days - Tales of the Sea Toilers • Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

... vehicle, the canal-boat, is the most absolutely prosaic and inglorious. There is something picturesque, nay, almost sublime, in the lordly march of your well-built, high-bred steamboat. Go take your stand on some overhanging bluff, where the blue Ohio winds its thread of silver, or the sturdy Mississippi tears its path through unbroken forests, and it will do your heart good to see the gallant boat walking the waters with unbroken and powerful tread, and, like ...
— The Wit of Women - Fourth Edition • Kate Sanborn

... you mean it? That you don't hate me any more? Don't bluff me, Roger! I've been in too lonely a hell. ...
— The Forbidden Trail • Honore Willsie

... the reader, we tracked the marauders, and came across them at earliest dawn the following morning, cooking their dog-stew under the shelter of a high bluff, with the stolen horses picketed near, in ...
— The Blunders of a Bashful Man • Metta Victoria Fuller Victor

... not wise enough in woodcraft to make use of a tree to get into the water, and thus leave the dogs at the end of the trail at a point far removed from his real entrance into it. When they had reached the pond, Jack bade the boy head to the boat. This they found moored under a bluff, and Gabe, pointing upward, said the ...
— The Iron Game - A Tale of the War • Henry Francis Keenan

... "In the privately printed edition of the poem the names of eight of the poet's kindred are given. The nearest in blood are the nephews, General Charles Russell Lowell, killed at Winchester, Lieutenant James Jackson Lowell, at Seven Pines, and Captain William Lowell Putnam, at Ball's Bluff. Another relative was the heroic Colonel Robert G. Shaw, who fell in the ...
— The Vision of Sir Launfal - And Other Poems • James Russell Lowell

... one heeded the disagreeable fellow, who had no intimate friends in the group. Most of the company were pressing round Heinz Schorlin with jests and questions, but bluff Count von Montfort warmly clasped Els's hand, while he apologised for the bold jest of his young daughter who, in spite of her recklessness, ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... of acquiescence. He was gazing steadily out over the spruce belt which covered the lower slopes of the hillside. His keen deep-set eyes were on the shipping lying out in the cove, watching the fussy approach of the bluff packet boat. ...
— The Man in the Twilight • Ridgwell Cullum

... and shame, There is no place for you, Weak-kneed and craven-breasted, Among this English crew! Bluff hearts that cannot learn to yield, But as the waves run high, And they can almost touch the night, Behind it see the sky. While now on Him who long has bless'd To bless her as of yore, Once more we cry for England, ...
— Successful Recitations • Various

... sailing barge was anchored at the entrance of a little bay, and was being filled with tea to be transported to Irkutsk. The soudna is a bluff-bowed, broad sterned craft, a sort of cross between Noah's Ark and a Chinese junk. It is strong but not elegant, and might sail backward or sidewise nearly as well as ahead. Its carrying capacity is great in proportion to its length, as it is very wide and ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... the black-tailed deer, a species larger than the ordinary kind, and chiefly found in rocky and mountainous countries. They had reached also a great buffalo range; Captain Bonneville ascended a high bluff, commanding an extensive view of the surrounding plains. As far as his eye could reach, the country seemed absolutely blackened by innumerable herds. No language, he says, could convey an adequate idea of the vast living mass thus presented to his eye. He remarked that the ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... seemed to be the continuation of some former quarrel about an oak leaf or something. Anyway, Th' Ole Man silenced his opponent by smothering his batteries—all of which will be better understood when I explain that Th' Ole Man was large in stature, bluff, bold and strong-voiced, whereas Cobden-Sanderson is small, ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... troopers who were with him arrived at the gallop to announce our victory and the approaching arrival of seventeen prisoners. As General Sras, in spite of this happy outcome, continued to berate Sergeant Canon, Pertelay said to him, in his bluff outspoken way, "Don't scold him, mon General, he's such a coward that if he'd been in charge we wouldn't have succeeded!" A remark which did nothing to improve the awkward position of Sgt. Canon, who ...
— The Memoirs of General the Baron de Marbot, Translated by - Oliver C. Colt • Baron de Marbot

... I am a great ada[']wehi, I never fail in anything. I surpass all others—I am a great ada[']wehi. Ha! It is only a mountain sprite that has frightened him. Undoubtedly that has frightened him. Ha! Instantly I have put it away on the bluff. Ha! There I compel ...
— The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees • James Mooney

... only prove discouraging to the army, and precipitate a panic in the city, it meant the abandonment of Norfolk, the loss of the navy yard, the destruction of the famous iron-clad, and the opening of the James River to the gunboats of the enemy to Drury's Bluff within twelve miles ...
— The Victim - A romance of the Real Jefferson Davis • Thomas Dixon

... radicalism, a frenetic disciple, obsessed by furor loquendi He was calling to the mob, trying to rouse followers. "You have been standing here, freezing in the night, damning tyrants, boasting what you would do. Why don't you do it? Do you let a smirking ruler bluff all the courage of real men out of you? He's only doing the bidding of those higher up. He admits it! He's a tool, too! He's a fool, along with you, if he tries to excuse tyranny. You have your chance, now, and all the provocation that honest men need. The rulers ...
— All-Wool Morrison • Holman Day

... bluff and bold, and of moderate elevation. The land from thence trends away westward, forming a long bay, which, for distinction, may be called Labu Bay, at the N.W. part of which is the town of Songi, the principal ...
— The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido - For the Suppression of Piracy • Henry Keppel

... thirteen hundred tons, with a battery of fifteen guns, none of long range. Clearly such an armada as this could be of but little avail against the earthworks which the Virginians were busily erecting on every commanding bluff. ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 2 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... really was a considerable body of Protestant opinion in agreement with Lord Pirrie, and prepared to support Home Rule on "Liberal," if not on avowedly "Nationalist" principles, and that the policy for which Carson, Londonderry, and the Unionist Council stood was a gigantic piece of bluff which only required to be exposed to disappear ...
— Ulster's Stand For Union • Ronald McNeill

... championship from her sons. On an occasion in History, our bluff British monarch, our Eighth Royal Harry, almost went there. And long ere the periodical in which this exposure will appear, had sprung into being, Tattlesnivel had unfurled that standard which yet waves upon her battlements. The standard ...
— Contributions to All The Year Round • Charles Dickens

... I don't bluff. There isn't a plea you can make, or a single argument, that will have any weight. There's but this one way to save your reputation and your bank. Do you quite realize what failure means, coming at this time? It means the finishing touch to a nearly bankrupt town. It means that the temper of your ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... can crawl in the grass or brushwood, and steal silently upon him by surprise, or send a shaft from his bow from behind a tree, or a bullet from his rifle from the brow of a bluff, he has an advantage; but, when he comes face to face with the white man, he is superstitiously afraid of him. The power of the white man, in war, is that of bravery and skill; the power of the red man consists much in stratagem ...
— History, Manners, and Customs of the North American Indians • George Mogridge

... work in the Houston General Office, and some eight months after reaching there I received a message from my old friend Clarke, saying, "if I had improved any in my commercial work he would give me a job at seventy dollars per month." I hadn't improved much, but as this world is two-thirds bluff, I made mine, and said I'd come, trusting to luck to be able to ...
— Danger Signals • John A. Hill and Jasper Ewing Brady

... again Lincoln uttered the voice of the conscience of the party. He was joined on this occasion by Edward D. Baker [Footnote: Afterwards senator from Oregon, and as colonel of the 71st Pennsylvania (called the 1st California) killed at Ball's Bluff.] and some others, who protested against the ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... of his new life was the friendship of the bluff, cantankerous, but kind-hearted contractor, his sunny daughter, the manly foreman, and the talkative Murphy. Of Tressa he had so many glowing things to write in his letters to his wife that Helen ...
— The Return of Blue Pete • Luke Allan

... feeling for those ships, Each worn and ancient one, With great bluff bows, and broad in the beam; Ay, it was unkindly done. But so they serve the Obsolete— Even ...
— Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War • Herman Melville

... started as if he had heard the warning of a rattlesnake at his feet. Turning like a flash, he saw Mr. Warmore standing at his elbow. Had he received but a few seconds' notice, he might have tried to bluff it out, by pretending he had come to look after some matters about which he was not fully satisfied. Holding the situation he did in the establishment, he could feel certain no one would suspect ...
— Brave Tom - The Battle That Won • Edward S. Ellis

... the land. They had made an early start one morning and had driven a long way before noon. When Emil said he was hungry, they drew back from the road, gave Brigham his oats among the bushes, and climbed up to the top of a grassy bluff to eat their lunch under the shade of some little elm trees. The river was clear there, and shallow, since there had been no rain, and it ran in ripples over the sparkling sand. Under the overhanging willows ...
— O Pioneers! • Willa Cather

... proud, tempestuous daughter of "bluff King Hal." Already an old woman, she yet affected the dress and carriage of young maidenhood, possessing unimpaired the vanity of a youthful beauty, and, despite her growing ugliness, commanding the gallant attentions that gratified ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye

... sleep, and I've no use for sheltering under the cart. Last time we tried it the pony stampeded and the wheel went over my foot. The tent's no good; you'd want a chain to stop its blowing away. We'll go on until we bring up to lee of a big, solid bluff." ...
— Blake's Burden • Harold Bindloss

... neighbor's rap at the outer door Was answered at once by a bluff 'Come in!' And he came, with stamping of heavy boots, Frost-wreathed ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. II. July, 1862. No. 1. • Various

... many members of the expedition were killed in battle and others died through sickness and deprivation. Nevertheless, they pushed on still further westward towards the Rocky Mountains, and in May, 1541, discovered and crossed the Mississippi River near Lower Chickasaw Bluff, a little north of the thirty-fourth parallel of latitude, in Tunica County, in what is now the State of Mississippi. On again reaching the Mississippi on the return march, De Soto, in consequence of the exposure and hardships to which he had been subjected, sank down with a fever from which ...
— Thirteen Chapters of American History - represented by the Edward Moran series of Thirteen - Historical Marine Paintings • Theodore Sutro

... responded Demorest, dryly; "but if people choose to believe this bluff gotten up by the petty thieves themselves to increase their importance and secure their immunity—they can. But here's Manuel to tell ...
— The Argonauts of North Liberty • Bret Harte

... and so long prepared for was close upon them—only in an unexpected form, hugely complicated and threatening. They must have realized the great danger of the situation, but they very likely may have thought that by another piece of bluff similar to that of 1908-9 they might intimidate Russia a second time; and they believed that Russia was behindhand in her military preparations. They also, it appears, thought that England would not fight, being too much preoccupied with Ireland, India, and other ...
— The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife • Edward Carpenter

... wise. Our rector was one day called to attend the funeral of a little child but a few weeks old, the daughter of neighbors of ours. The father was a big-bodied, big-hearted, big-voiced, successful man of business, well liked for his bluff cordiality and generosity, who went to church because his wife went. The mother was a sweet, kindly, delicate woman, the daughter of a clergyman, ...
— Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White Volume II • Andrew Dickson White

... it. He sprang from the bed and danced a tarantella, pranced in his cottony nightgown like a drunken Yaqui. The letter announced that the flinty farm at Parthenon, left to Mr. Wrenn by his father, had been sold. Its location on a river bluff had made it valuable to the Parthenon Chautauqua Association. There was now to his credit in the Parthenon National Bank nine hundred ...
— Our Mr. Wrenn - The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man • Sinclair Lewis

... guns, an' dolls, An' all kinds o' fol-de-rols. Then with frosty bells a-chime, Slidin' down the hills o' time, Right amidst the fun an' din Christmas come a-bustlin' in, Raised his cheery voice to call Out a welcome to us all; Hale and hearty, strong an' bluff, That was Christmas, sure enough. Snow knee-deep an' coastin' fine, Frozen mill-ponds all ashine, Seemin' jest to lay in wait, Beggin' you to come an' skate. An' you 'd git your gal an' go Stumpin' cheerily thro' the snow, Feelin' pleased ...
— The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... a bluff stern warrior, in his undress, that is, without his panoply of armour and arms, in the long flowing robe affected by his Norman kindred at the festal board. She, with the comely robe which had superseded the gunna or gown, and the couvrechef (whence our word kerchief) ...
— The House of Walderne - A Tale of the Cloister and the Forest in the Days of the Barons' Wars • A. D. Crake

... continuing to fumble beneath the straw. "You shall see—you shall know! But our balloon—we had no means of obtaining a further supply of gas. It was barely sufficient to take us across the gulf, with a few pieces of treasure. We struck against the side of the bluff—we were falling back into the abyss! Barely were we able to scramble out of the car and cling to the rocks. Then we saw the balloon rise a little, like a bird freed of burden; but it suddenly collapsed, fluttered downward, and the mists leaped up and clutched it like a thousand exulting ...
— Frank Merriwell Down South • Burt L. Standish

... not take Mr Button long to reach the hill-top, and there she was, beating up for the island. Bluff-bowed and squab, the figure of an old Dutch woman, and telling of her trade a league off. It was just after the rains, the sky was not yet quite clear of clouds; you could see showers away at sea, and the sea was green ...
— The Blue Lagoon - A Romance • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... narrow gorge, and some of the soldiers, among them Captain Charles King, had gone after them. As they were proceeding cautiously, keeping tinder cover as much as possible, King observed White creeping along the opposite bluff, rifle in hand, looking for a chance at the savages huddled below, and hoping to distract their fire so they would do as little damage as possible to the soldiers who were closing in ...
— An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W. F. Cody) • Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody)

... turf under them, they shook their impatient horses into a canter until they reached the highest point of a bluff promontory that stretched out into the sea. Here they reined in and scanned ...
— A Tall Ship - On Other Naval Occasions • Sir Lewis Anselm da Costa Ritchie

... planned before ever he came down here. That's a cinch. The fishing was all a bluff. The four of them had the hold-up arranged weeks ago. They've gone into a hole and drawn ...
— The Highgrader • William MacLeod Raine

... to the second speed as the car topped the first bluff. We said no more. The night and the mission solemnized us. And gradually, as we rose towards the purple skies, the Five Towns wrote themselves out in fire ...
— The Matador of the Five Towns and Other Stories • Arnold Bennett

... a pity! (Dropping his sarcastic tone and facing him suddenly and seriously) Do you at all realize, sir, that we have nothing standing between us and destruction but our own bluff and the sheepishness of these colonists? They are men of the same English stock as ourselves: six to one of us (repeating it emphatically), six to one, sir; and nearly half our troops are Hessians, Brunswickers, German dragoons, and Indians with scalping knives. These are ...
— The Devil's Disciple • George Bernard Shaw

... doubtful about Thormanby's reception of the book. He ought to be pleased, for he appears in my pages as a bluff, straightforward nobleman, devoted to the public good and full of sound common-sense though slightly choleric. This is exactly what he is; but I have noticed that people are not always pleased with faithful portraits ...
— Lalage's Lovers - 1911 • George A. Birmingham

... the whole "eye" of the island, as natives call the windward end, lay desert. From Falesa round about to Papa-malulu, there was neither house, nor man, nor planted fruit-tree; and the reef being mostly absent, and the shores bluff, the sea beat direct among crags, and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... vain—qualities which are calculated to wear well. Queen Adelaide's goodness and kindness, her unselfish, unassuming womanliness and devout resignation to sorrow and suffering, did more than gain and keep the heart of her bluff, eccentric sailor-prince. They secured for her the respectful regard of the nation among whom she dwelt, whether as Queen or Queen-dowager. The Archbishop of Canterbury could say of her, after her husband's death, "For three weeks prior to his (King ...
— Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen V.1. • Sarah Tytler

... is dismissed with slight ceremony; and soon as eaten, they recaparison their horses; then leading them out of the cavern, mount, and are off. As the arroyo has long since shrunk to its ordinary level, and the path along the base of the bluff is dry as when trodden by them in their rush for shelter from the storm, they have no difficulty in getting out. So on they ride up the steep acclivity to the cliff's crest; which last is on a level ...
— Gaspar the Gaucho - A Story of the Gran Chaco • Mayne Reid

... cottage, but I've seen plans, elevations and photographs of it, and of views from it. It stands on a bluff, close to the lake, the Green Mountains far in the east, and the Adirondacks some twelve miles to the west. The people who own it will answer further questions and state facts fully on request, ...
— The Forerunner, Volume 1 (1909-1910) • Charlotte Perkins Gilman

... not very far away on the bluff along the river, and after a few inquiries, a white family was found that very kindly gave Miss Campbell shelter for ...
— The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy • Robert Elliott Flickinger

... seat of an extensive fur trade; at present it is noted for the great amount of trout and white fish annually exported. Fort Mackinac stood on a rocky bluff overlooking the town. The ruins of Fort Holmes are on the apex of the island. It was built by the British in the war of 1812, under the name of Fort George, and was changed to its present appellation after the surrender to the Americans, in ...
— Daniel Boone - The Pioneer of Kentucky • John S. C. Abbott

... him to the shore. There was no beach at the spot. The bank—a limestone bluff—rose steeply from the water's edge to a height of eight feet, and the lake under it was several fathoms in depth. The buck did not hesitate, but sprang outward and downwards. A heavy plash followed, and for some seconds both wapiti and wolverene were lost under the water. They rose to ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... still; let us up again and new through the canal of Piombino, touching at the isle of Elba, the "Great Emperor's" mimic domain; step into the town lying beneath this rocky bluff; which is crowned by a fort-it is Porto Ferrajo. Look off for a moment from this rocky eminence, back of the town, and see the wild beauty of these Tuscan mountains on the main land. Now, we will ...
— The Duke's Prize - A Story of Art and Heart in Florence • Maturin Murray

... left, the ground ran up sharply in a minute bluff, with the soft outline of underlying chalk, covered with small thorn-thickets; and it was all encircled with small, close woods, where we heard the pheasants scamper. We found an old, slow, bovine man, with a cheerful face, who readily threw aside some fumbling work he was doing, and guided ...
— The Thread of Gold • Arthur Christopher Benson

... scene and what he felt. He rolled it over luxuriously as the next of delights to having her beside him.—She wrote of; 'Thoughts that are bare dark outlines, coloured by some odd passion of the soul, like towers of a distant city seen in the funeral waste of day.'—His bluff English anti-poetic training would have caused him to shrug at the stuff coming from another pen: he might condescendingly have criticized it, with a sneer embalmed in humour. The words were hers; she had written them; ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... Indian had no time to pick up his gun; fleeing for his life he reached the bank of the river, where the bluffs were twenty feet high, and sprang over into the stream-bed. He struck a miry place, and while he was floundering McClellan came to the top of the bluff and instantly sprang down full on him, and overpowered him. The others came up and secured the prisoner, whom they found to be a white man; and to Miller's astonishment it proved to be his brother Christopher. The scouts brought their prisoner, ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Four - Louisiana and the Northwest, 1791-1807 • Theodore Roosevelt

... vessel of about 300 tons burden, with bluff, rounded bows sitting high up out of the water, a long, straight waist, and a bridge and cluster of ...
— The Pit Prop Syndicate • Freeman Wills Crofts

... when wrecking was a profitable trade along the coast, and goodly vessels were frequently, by false lights, decoyed to their destruction, there was no more favorable point for the exercise of that systematic villainy than this rocky, high-lifted bluff. Projecting three or four hundred feet into the sea, with a gradually curved, sweeping line, it formed, to be sure, upon the one side, a limited anchorage—safe enough for those who knew it; but, upon the other side, it looked upon a waste of shoal, ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 9 • Various

... for story-telling and pipes. The blizzard, which had been brewing for a week or more, had burst forth in all its fury, and the elements were in frightful commotion. The wind howled mournfully through the branches of the evergreens that covered the bluff behind the cabin; the rain and sleet, freezing as they fell, rattled harshly upon the bark roof over our heads; and the whole aspect of nature, as I caught a momentary glimpse of it when I went out to gather our evening's supply of fire-wood, ...
— Elam Storm, The Wolfer - The Lost Nugget • Harry Castlemon

... the Rajah," he said half-musingly. "In fact, I know him, by sight. He is what the magazinists are fond of calling an 'industry colonel,' a born leader who has fought his way to the front. If the Quartz Creek row is anything more than a stiff bluff on the part of the C. G. R. it will be quite as well for us if Mr. Somerville Darrah is safely at the other side of the continent—and well out of ordinary reach of ...
— A Fool For Love • Francis Lynde

... said, "Perhaps with the English it is that to-day." He was giving me a loophole and I responded with fervour, "Yes, yes, assuredly it is 'Arras' with the English," and he waved us past. I thought regretfully how easily a German spy might bluff the sentry in ...
— Fanny Goes to War • Pat Beauchamp

... going West," remarked Senator Morr, who stood near. He was a big man, with a round, florid face and a heavy but pleasant voice. "Think of trying to locate that lost mine! Is there anything you lads wouldn't try to do?" And the big man laughed in his bluff, ...
— Dave Porter in the Gold Fields - The Search for the Landslide Mine • Edward Stratemeyer

... not over three feet above the surface of the water, except where the ridge impinged upon the stream. Here there was a high bluff; and, hurrying around its base, I entered the channel, ...
— Thrilling Adventures by Land and Sea • James O. Brayman

... Mr. Rogers' pike-carrier in vain. Superb actor though he is, I saw his bluff, and quick as a hair-trigger ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson

... of obedience she straightened again. "It's bluff," she said. "I'm going through that door!" Straight for the door she went, and Ronicky ...
— Ronicky Doone • Max Brand

... him. "Very well, captain. I'll call your bluff, come along." He turned on his heel ...
— Mercenary • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... kind of stuff; You're a fighter from away back, and you won't take a rebuff; Your trouble is that you don't know when you have had enough— Don't give in. If Fate should down you, just get up and take another cuff; You may bank on it that there is no philosophy like bluff And grin. ...
— Songs of a Sourdough • Robert W. Service

... and left when it wasn't worth his while to grovel, and I had no doubt now that he believed his own dirty tale when he told it; but he had been impressed and thoroughly frightened, even at the time, by the calmness of my bluff, and the little beast was far more afraid of us than we ever could have been of him now. We could henceforth dismiss Withers from our minds. He was a "social climber" of the sort that would eat his own words if he thought they would do the smallest ...
— The Belfry • May Sinclair

... could hope to excel. One day, when she was about fourteen years old, the Princess Woo was missing from the Nestorian mission-house, by the Yellow River. Her troubled guardian, in much anxiety, set out to find the truant; and, finally, in the course of his search, climbed the high bluff from which he saw the massive walls, the many gateways, the gleaming roofs, and porcelain towers of the Imperial city of Chang-an-the City of ...
— Historic Girls • E. S. Brooks

... crops standing in them. She had paid the family of her predecessor a good price for them, but they were worth it. And just ahead, on her left, was a wide stretch of newly-ploughed land rising towards a bluff of grassy down-land on the horizon. The ploughed land itself had been down up to a few months before this date; thin pasture for a few sheep, through many generations. She thought with eagerness of the crops she was going to make it bear, in the coming year. ...
— Harvest • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... nothing that you may not do. This is a school of manners, you know!" One of the men, Rose by name, laughed—a pleasant musical laugh. "I remember," he said, "that when I was a boy at Eton, my excellent but very bluff and rough old tutor called upon us, and was so much taken up with being hearty, that he knocked over the coal-scuttle, and didn't let anyone get a word in; and when he went off in a sort of whirlwind, my old aunt, who was an incisive ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... Kitty," she remarked, "for maybe you can get a chance to talk with Martin before he begins rehearsal and gets all worked up. He 'll be a little less like a bear then. But even if you don't see him before then, wait, and don't get scared if he tries to bluff you. His bark is a good deal ...
— The Sport of the Gods • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... be landed in the light of day, with a discouraging openness, and even with parade. To sneak ashore by night was to increase the danger of resistance and to minimise the authority of the attack. The thing was a bluff, and it is impossible to bluff with stealth. Yet this was what was tried. A landing-party was to leave the Olga in Apia bay at two in the morning; the landing was to be at four on two parts of ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... one of them philosophic sports asserts that women, that a-way, is shore the sublimation of the oncertain. That's how he lays it down; an' he never hedges the bluff for so much as a single chip. He insists that you can't put a bet on women; that you can bet on hosses or kyards or 'lections, but not on women—women bein' too plumb oncertain. As I reads along, I can't he'p feelin' that somehow this philosophic ...
— Faro Nell and Her Friends - Wolfville Stories • Alfred Henry Lewis

... South Seas. The days had not come in which steamers with brass-bound supercargoes, carrying tin boxes and taking orders like merchants' bagmen, for goods "to arrive," exploited the Ellice, Kingsmill, and Gilbert Groups. Bluff-bowed old wave-punchers like the SPEC, the LADY ALICIA and the E. K. BATESON plunged their clumsy hulls into the rolling swell of the mid-Pacific, carrying their "trade" of knives, axes, guns, bad rum, and good ...
— By Reef and Palm • Louis Becke

... England was prosperous, too, and shopkeepers, farmers, and all were well off; there was plenty of bread and meat for all, and the foreign nations were afraid to go to war with us. So the English people, on the whole, loved "Bluff King Hal," as they called him, and did not think much about his many wickednesses, or care how many heads he cut off. He died in the year 1547. The changes in his time are generally called the beginning ...
— Young Folks' History of England • Charlotte M. Yonge



Words linked to "Bluff" :   card game, bluffness, scare, cards, deception, bluff out, direct, pretense, steep, fright, bank, pretence, move, feigning, affright, frighten, dissimulation, go, deceit, Pine Bluff, dissembling, blindman's bluff



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