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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



... attending board meetings of the varied industries which his father's energy had called into being. He was a bluff, well-set-up man, who had married twice; both of his wives had brought him money. Each time Montague chose a mate, he had made some effort to follow the leanings of his heart; but money not lying in the same ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... if you know what's good for you. Go to bed, or not, when I get my dogs outside, so help me, onto the sled you go. Mebbe you fooled with me, but I'll just see your bluff and take you in earnest. ...
— The God of His Fathers • Jack London

... sakes as well," said Marion. "You know, mother, that his friend Armstrong is also reported as missing, and Stevenson the marine, as well as that dear big bluff sailor, Jack Molloy. By the way, do you feel well enough to go to the lecture to-night? It is to be a very interesting one, I am told, with magic-lantern illustrations, and I ...
— Blue Lights - Hot Work in the Soudan • R.M. Ballantyne

... with no yards to their masts, British coasters of varying rig, Norwegians, and one solitary Dutch galliot. But the majority flew the Danish flag—your Dane is fond of flying his flag, and small blame to him!—and these exhibited round bluff bows and square-cut counters with white or varnished top-strakes and stern-davits of timber. To the right and seaward, the eye travelled past yet another tier, where a stumpy Swedish tramp lay cheek-by-jowl with two stately Italian barques—now ...
— Hocken and Hunken • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... feet. Along the road which ran almost parallel with the wall was the remnant of what had once been a great woods; yearly the county authorities determined to cut away its thick undergrowth—and yearly left it alone. On the left the road was bare for some distance along the bluff; then, bending, it again sought the shelter of the trees and meandered along until it lost itself in the main street of Sihasset, a village large enough to support three banks and, after a fashion, eight small churches. In front, had the lounger cared to look, he would have seen ...
— Charred Wood • Myles Muredach

... information about the A. R. U. convention. One day there was a meeting in which a committee of the Pullman strikers set forth their case. At the close of that meeting the great boycott had been declared. "Mere bluff," said the newspapers. But the managers of the railroads "got together." Some of them had already cut the wage lists on their roads. They did not feel sure that ...
— The Web of Life • Robert Herrick

... from next morning's breakfast the Meadowcrofts sat next to us. Hilda was on one side of me; Lady Meadowcroft on the other; and beyond her again, bluff Yorkshire Sir Ivor, with his cold, hard, honest blue North Country eyes, and his dignified, pompous English, breaking down at times into a North Country colloquialism. They talked chiefly to each other. Acting on Hilda's instructions, I took care not to engage in conversation with our "exclusive" ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... for fear. He could bluff his way out of this accusation, discredit the searchers, and make his position permanently secure. Possibly it was even better this way. He looked scornfully at the two men who moved ...
— Millennium • Everett B. Cole

... his game of bluff a safe one, for his claims were just, and diplomacy was derelict, or there would have been no utility in the demonstration. But the futility of the Greek threats was most conspicuously shown, for not a battalion ...
— The Autobiography of a Journalist, Volume II • William James Stillman

... arising out of the Boxer trouble, from the greed of the great powers of Europe. One of his greatest achievements was in proclaiming the open door for China and securing the acquiescence of the great powers. It was a bluff on his part, because he never could have had the active support of the United States, but he made his proposition with a confidence which carried the belief that he had no doubt on that subject. He was fortunately dealing with governments who did not understand the United ...
— My Memories of Eighty Years • Chauncey M. Depew

... many miles wide. Then they bend to the south-west, and, abutting upon the lower Tapajos, merge into the bluffs which form the terrace margin of that river valley. The next high land on the north side is Obidos, a bluff, 56 ft. above the river, backed by low hills. From Serpa, nearly opposite the river Madeira, to near the mouth of the Rio Negro, the banks are low, until approaching Manaos, they are rolling hills; but from the Negro, for 600 m. as far up as the village of Canaria, at the ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... him. The most sporting characters among the nobility and gentry of the country, fighting-peers, fire-eaters, snuff-candle squires, members of the hell-fire and jockey clubs, gaugers, gentlemen tinners, bluff yeomen, laborers, cudgel-players, parish pugilists, men of renown within a district of ten square miles, all jostled each other in hurrying to see, and if possible to have speech of, the Dead Boxer. Not a word was spoken that day, except with reference to him, nor a conversation introduced, ...
— The Dead Boxer - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... then radiated out from the villages, and every cottage was built with an eye to the military necessities of the whole, so that the defence might make a stand at all points, and might finally centre upon the stone manor-house and the mill. Now at every bluff and hill near the villages might be seen the gleam of the muskets of the watchers, for it was known that the scalping parties of the Five Nations were out, and none could tell where the blow would fall, ...
— The Refugees • Arthur Conan Doyle

... of bad paper, eh? Come now, didn't you cash a check on the Cotton Exchange Bank for about six hundred dollars when there was only fifteen on deposit? Don't try to bluff me. I know your sort. Lucky if you ...
— The Confessions of Artemas Quibble • Arthur Train

... and what a breadth she 151has; why she's fit for any seas; and if the Arrow ever shoots past her, I'll forfeit every shot in my lockers." "Avast there! master Horace," said our master at the helm, who was an old Cowes pilot, and as bluff as a Deal sea-boat; "the Pearl is a noble sailer; but a bird can't fly without wings, nor a ship run thirteen knots an hour without a good stiff breeze. If the light winds prevail, the Arrow will have the advantage, particularly now ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... they were by their heavy oil skins, their progress was slow, although the water barely reached their knees. The Three Brothers was bumping when they reached her and clambered on board over the bluff sides, sticky with ...
— Roden's Corner • Henry Seton Merriman

... was his dinner saved for him and warmed up in the oven. Mendel sat studying from an unwieldy folio which he held on his lap by the fireside and bent over. When Daniel had done supper and was standing yawning and stretching himself, Mendel said suddenly as if trying to bluff him: ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... Colonel Claus, in his bluff way, "you all make great merit of risking property and life in this wretched teapot tempest; you all take credit for unchaining the Mohawks. But you give them no credit. What have the Iroquois to gain by aiding us? Why do they dig up the hatchet, ...
— The Maid-At-Arms • Robert W. Chambers

... few circumstances of their history, the resemblance ceases. Their characters afford scarcely a point of contact. Elizabeth, inheriting a large share of the bold and bluff King Harry's temperament, was haughty, arrogant, coarse, and irascible; while with these fiercer qualities she mingled deep dissimulation and strange irresolution. Isabella, on the other hand, tempered the dignity ...
— The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, V3 • William H. Prescott

... a past master, Mr. Parker," he said, "in the accomplishment that, I believe, in your country goes by the name of bluff; but there are limits, you know. I shall have to ask you and your daughter and Mr. Walmsley here to accompany me at once to Bow Street. And," he added, suddenly leaning across the table, "move your right hand, please! Don't make a disturbance—for ...
— An Amiable Charlatan • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... in the position of attention is "chest lifted; and arched." There should be a stretch upward at the waist. The position should give the impression of a man as proud of himself as he can be. This is a bluff which works, not only by making a good first impression on others, but by causing the man himself to live up ...
— Military Instructors Manual • James P. Cole and Oliver Schoonmaker

... warring in that relentless spirit, no one who is blessed with the ordinary amount of reasoning power looks for mercy even if it be promised. And Uncle Billy Rhodes did well to run his bluff down there in the willows ...
— When the West Was Young • Frederick R. Bechdolt

... "You needn't try to bluff me," said Bagley. "I've been on to your game for a good while. You can fool some of the people, but you can't fool me. I'm too old a friend, ...
— The Mystery of Murray Davenport - A Story of New York at the Present Day • Robert Neilson Stephens

... of all "steps" taken before and thereafter, the English have everywhere had important losses to show at sea—some 200 ships lost since the beginning of the war, according to the latest statements of the Allies—so that even they themselves no longer dare to talk about the "German bluff." ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • 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

... was limitless prairie straight on in front of me. I walked for days, and slept at night wherever I could find a bluff. I could hear the little grasses whispering when I lay half-awake, and it was comforting to know that there were leagues and leagues of them between me and the city. I drove a team for a farmer most of that season. Then I went on to a track that they were strengthening and straightening ...
— The Gold Trail • Harold Bindloss

... madness. They kept a close watch over him; and at last Bowling Green, one of the most devoted friends Lincoln then had, took him home to his little log cabin, half a mile north of New Salem, under the brow of a big bluff. Here, under the loving care of Green and his good wife Nancy, Lincoln remained until he was once ...
— McClure's Magazine, Volume VI, No. 3. February 1896 • Various

... the bluff overlooking Williamsport. Imboden's artillery had the exact range and were pouring shell into the position where the brigade was ...
— Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman - With Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War • J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd

... of smoke rising, and knowing it to be from the cabin of some negro, he blew a merry blast on his bugle. Before the clear notes had faded from the morning air, a venerable darkey with whitened head and slightly bent, though walking without the assistance of a cane, appeared on the bluff overlooking the river. He raised his eyes to the eastern horizon, as though to determine the weather probabilities, and then he scanned the river up and down. He failed to see Boyton at first, and another blast was given on the bugle. Slowly, and with evidences of some fear, the old darkey ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... of strangled at this, too. He finally manages to say that he tried to read Shakespere once but it was too fine print. The old liar! He wouldn't read a line of Shakespere in letters a foot high. It just showed that he, too, was trying to bluff along with the rest of 'em on ...
— Ma Pettengill • Harry Leon Wilson

... "Bah! It's all bluff!" cried a voice. "They know that by holding out they can get what they want. They'd cave in directly if we showed a ...
— A Dash from Diamond City • George Manville Fenn

... wears gloves and looks afraid of soiling his hands. Dudley had his mother to support, and looked about bravely for work. But no work was to be had. He tried everything, as it seemed, until at last he asked stern old Mr. Bluff, who owned half a dozen ...
— Queer Stories for Boys and Girls • Edward Eggleston

... was tenanted by half a dozen rough farmers, rendered savage and morose by incessantly imbibing alcohol; and by the proprietor of the tavern, a bluff man, with a portly paunch, a hard gray eye, and a stern Caledonian lip. He welcomed me without much frankness or cordiality, and I sank into a wooden settle, eyed by the surly guests of mine host, and the subject of sundry muttered remarks. ...
— The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales • Francis A. Durivage

... was against all precedent to go to sea without looking at the ship, Bush and I appointed ourselves an examining committee for the party, and walked down to the wharf where she lay. The captain, a bluff Americanised German, met us at the gangway and guided us through the little brig from stem to stern. Our limited marine experience would not have qualified us to pass an ex cathedra judgment upon the seaworthiness of a mud-scow; but Bush, with characteristic impudence and versatility of talent, ...
— Tent Life in Siberia • George Kennan

... this, me and the Sweet Caps Kid has been sojourning in that favored metropolis which is bounded on one side by a loud Sound and on the other by a steep Bluff, and is doing her constant best at all times to live up to the surroundings. Needless to say, I refer to little Noo Yawk, the original haunt of the come-on and the native habitat of the sure thing, where the jays bite freely and the woods are full of ...
— Sundry Accounts • Irvin S. Cobb

... would do in Congress, but would not make much of a fist at farming, and then called my attention to his corn and buckwheat and other crops, and said that was a marsh, but he underdrained it with tile, and found spring-water flowing out of the bluff, and found he could get a five-foot fall, and with pumps of a given dimension, a water-dam could throw water back eighty rods to his house, and eighty feet above it. 'But,' said he, in his jocularly, impressive manner, 'I did my surveying before ...
— From Canal Boy to President - Or The Boyhood and Manhood of James A. Garfield • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... presented by J. Watts de Peyster to the monument association, we discovered a blue bird's nest containing four eggs. This gun was at one time a part of the armament of a British vessel. The vessel becoming disabled, the gun was then mounted on wheels and placed on a bluff at Ticonderoga, where it was captured by the Americans. Right glad we were that the place knows no harsher sound than the soft, melodious warble of the bluebird and cherry carol of the robin. We thought how glorious the time when all monuments may be not merely grim reminders ...
— See America First • Orville O. Hiestand

... avowed purpose of lynching them. But fortunately, the objects of their vengeance had escaped from town. Foiled in their purpose, the rioters repaired to the shantee where the murder was committed, and precipitated it over the bluff. The military of the city were ordered out to ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... was held under restraint until six o'clock. "It's my intention to follow him within an hour," said the foreman, as the boy rounded a bluff and disappeared. "He can build the fire as well as any one, and we'll return before midnight. That'll give the doctor the last minute and ...
— Wells Brothers • Andy Adams

... several houses 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 ...
— The Choctaw Freedmen - and The Story of Oak Hill Industrial Academy • Robert Elliott Flickinger

... the squire so near at hand. He was a tall man, over six feet high, and broad in proportion, and he had a bluff, rough-and-ready face, all roughened and reddened and lined in his long travels. His eyebrows were very black, and moved readily, and this gave him a look of some temper, not bad, you would say, ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... visible in clusters upon the sides and tops of the hills which tower above the Mandingo capital. "The fires which were visible in the different nests of these unfortunates, threw a glare upon the bold peaks and bluff promontories of granite rock by which they were surrounded, and produced a picturesque and somewhat awful appearance." The inhabitants of these wild regions were clothed in the spoils of the chace, and subsisted chiefly on wild fruits, ...
— Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa • Mungo Park

... big family party. They're rather nice to me. I go walking with Aunt Josephine. I don't understand why I'm sandwiched in between Havens and Aunt Josephine. Otherwise the arrangement is neat. There is a veranda outside our windows. We sit upon it. Aunt Josephine is a great bluff, but she's clever. She's never napping. I've tried to pump her. Miss Crozier is harmless. She doesn't care. Havens never takes his eyes off Mrs. W. when they are together. She looks at him a good bit, too. They don't pay much attention to me. Aunt Josephine's husband is very old ...
— The Purple Parasol • George Barr McCutcheon

... a challenge, I'll take it!" Then he added; and his face went hot as her own: "As to the freebooters of the Western Wilderness ripping the bowels out of public property out here, I'll accept that challenge, too! We'll put up a bluff ...
— The Freebooters of the Wilderness • Agnes C. Laut

... were probably not afterwards often repeated; for example, the meeting of officers on the picket-lines, who had communications with each other, because they were freemasons. In September, the Confederates fell back from Munson's Hill, and on October 21st the battle at Poolsville, or Ball's Bluff, took place, in which, out of 1,800 Federals engaged, over one-third were killed, wounded or missing. The Fifteenth Massachusetts regiment suffered heavily. Colonel Devens, afterwards major-general and attorney-general, ...
— Charles Carleton Coffin - War Correspondent, Traveller, Author, and Statesman • William Elliot Griffis

... 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 ...
— The Blue Lagoon - A Romance • H. de Vere Stacpoole

... was the son of a bluff but good-hearted old marquis who was not very successful in bringing up his family. Young Mirabeau had been so immoral and unruly that his father had repeatedly obtained lettres de cachet from the king in order that prison bars ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... respective streams, born to what destiny who shall tell? Watatic, and the neighboring hills in this State and in New Hampshire, are a continuation of the same elevated range on which we were standing. But that New Hampshire bluff,—that promontory of a State,—lowering day and night on this our State of Massachusetts, will longest haunt ...
— Excursions • Henry D. Thoreau

... Sarah replied. "As a matter of fact, that was rather a bluff. His mother is so afraid of his starting in some business where they'll get him to put some money in, that she has agreed to allow him a couple of thousand a year until he comes in for his property, on condition that he clears out of the ...
— The Profiteers • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... pillars—his native cheekiness faded into most unwonted humility. For he was increasingly conscious of being, to put it vulgarly "up against something pretty big." Conscious of a personality altogether too secure of its own power to spread itself or, in the smallest degree, bluff or brag. Sir Charles Verity struck him, indeed, as calm to the confines of cynicism. He gave, but gave of his abundance, royally indifferent to the cost. There was plenty more where all this came from, of knowledge, ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... fatal mistake to be too candid even with those who were all right—not to look and to talk prosperous, not at least to pretend that one had beautiful sales. To listen to her you would have thought the profession of letters a wonderful game of bluff. Wherever one's idea began it ended somehow in inspired paragraphs in the newspapers. "I pretend, I assure you, that you are going off like wildfire—I can at least do that for you!" she often declared, prevented as she ...
— Embarrassments • Henry James

... suddenly and rolled away, wrapped in pale and splendid mystery; it broke for us as we were upon the edge of a bluff. For some moments we had been listening to the ever-recurring sob of the sea. There at our feet curled the huge breakers, shouldering the cliff as if they would hurl it from its foundation. A little further on in the gloaming was the last hill of all; from ...
— In the Footprints of the Padres • Charles Warren Stoddard

... worthy Julot came at last to say the babe was born. "I'd like to chuck it in the Seine," he sourly snarled, "and yet I guess I'll have to let it live, because of Gigolette." I only laughed, for sure I saw his spite was all a bluff, And he was prouder than a prince behind his manner gruff. Yet every day he'd blast the brat with curses deep and grim, And swear to me that Gigolette no longer thought of him. And then one night he dropped the mask; his eyes were sick with dread, ...
— Ballads of a Bohemian • Robert W. Service

... and fifty years, off and on—ever since, in fact, the press-masters of bluff King Hal denuded the Dorset coast of fishermen and drove the starving women of that region to sea in quest of food [Footnote: State Papers Domestic, Henry VIII.: Lord Russell to the Privy Council, 22 Aug. 1545.]—the press-gang had been laboriously teaching English housewives this very ...
— The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore • John R. Hutchinson

... not really until the time of bluff King Hal that lace became an article of fashion, when during the life of the last of his unfortunate queens he permits "the importation of all manner of gold and silver fringes, or otherwise, with all new 'gentillesses' of what facyion or value, for ...
— Chats on Old Lace and Needlework • Emily Leigh Lowes

... at Beverly Farms was on a bluff overlooking the sea. It was reached by a long avenue winding through pines mingled with birches and rowan trees; and stood in a clearing where all the day and all the night the sound of the waves on the cliff answered the whispering of the wind in the pine-tops. The broad ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... extremes of Clack's Island presented a steep, rocky bluff, thinly covered with small trees. I ascended the steep head, which rose to an elevation of a hundred and eighty feet above the sea. I found simply the plants of the main, namely, Mimusops parvifolia, Br.; Hoya nivea, Cunningham manuscript; Acacia plectocarpa, Cunningham ...
— Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2] • Phillip Parker King

... the British navy, he was for some time on the coast of the North American colonies, then in a state of revolution, and passed the winter of 1782 in the city of New York. He is still borne in lively recollection by many of the elder inhabitants of that city, as a fine bluff boy of sixteen: frank, cheery, and affable; and there are anecdotes still told of his frolicsome pranks on shipboard. Among these, is the story of a rough, though favourite, nautical joke, which he played off upon a sailor boy, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 492 - Vol. 17, No. 492. Saturday, June 4, 1831 • Various

... which rained around Drury's Bluff, a boyish officer led a column of riflemen, gallant and daring. His uniform was soiled with the grim dirt of many a battle, but his bright blue eye took in every feature of the conflict. The day was just closing when an angry bullet pierced his throat as he was cheering on his men, and the ...
— Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z • Various

... the two valleys stood an enormous building, half manorial, half monastic in appearance. The shore formed, at this point, for an extent of several hundred feet, a bluff whose edge plunged vertically into the river. The chateau and its outbuildings rested upon this solid base. The principal house was a large parallelogram of very old construction, but which had evidently been almost entirely rebuilt at the beginning of ...
— Gerfaut, Complete • Charles de Bernard

... the knight, "that our host of the Trysting-tree, or the jolly Friar, his chaplain, heard this thy ditty in praise of our bluff yeoman." ...
— Ivanhoe - A Romance • Walter Scott

... most frequently described is that known as the Basket trick, which is in my opinion the chef d'oeuvre of the Indian Jadoo-wallah. It is a wonderful bluff ...
— Indian Conjuring • L. H. Branson

... by the residents of the village to fall forward from a skiff into the water and go down with uplifted hands. I could not learn that he rose at all after the first submersion. Two men were standing near a bluff which overlooked the bay, and after an instant's delay in deciding that an accident had occurred, they ran over an uneven and undulating pasture for a distance of two hundred and fifty paces to the shore. One of them, after a quick decision not to swim out to where the young man had fallen in ...
— Scientific American Supplement No. 819 - Volume XXXII, Number 819. Issue Date September 12, 1891 • Various

... his party's nomination; and it was here he took counsel with his Senate colleagues. Being consulted, the word of those grave ones proved the very climax of flattery. Senators Vice and Price and Dice and Ice, and Stuff and Bluff and Gruff and Muff, and Loot and Coot and Hoot and Toot, and Wink and Blink and Drink and Kink—statesmen all and of snow-capped eminence in the topography of party—endorsed Senator Hanway's ambition without a wrinkle of distrust to mar their brows or a moment lost in weighing the ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... time to play, Ben, my boy," said the bluff old fellow. "Sometimes not too much to eat either, except fish and biscuit, and not much room to sleep in when you turn in to your hard wooden bunk and pull a rough blanket over you ...
— Little Folks (Septemeber 1884) - A Magazine for the Young • Various

... a little gray-pebbled path wound back to where a house stood, nearly hidden in a grove of trees, upon a bluff directly overlooking ...
— The Girl in the Golden Atom • Raymond King Cummings

... quick glance toward me. "That is easily explained; we turned the corner of the bluff instead. This is the old road to Jonesboro, and has been used very little since the new road was opened. I chose it because I thought I would be less likely to ...
— Love Under Fire • Randall Parrish

... Tories understand the sort of people they have to deal with; they know that although their bodies are the bodies of grown men, their minds are the minds of little children. That is why it has been possible to deceive and bluff and rob them for so long. But your party persists in regarding them as rational beings, and that's where you make a mistake—you're simply wasting ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... You are simply too charming. No doubt you'll be modern enough (Though the speed of the world is alarming) To win with a delicate bluff, ...
— More Songs From Vagabondia • Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey

... tradition of the country, had actually been performed by his Satanic majesty, who, after flying for some leagues with the morsel in his mouth, becoming weary, dropped it in the vicinity of Cashel, where it may now be seen in the shape of a bold bluff hill, crowned with the ruins of a stately edifice, probably built ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... Petersburg, it was his policy to have every man, both in the army and navy, employed, in order to draw off as many as possible from General Lee's forces at Petersburg. Accordingly, for the purpose of capturing Rainbow Bluff, the fleet composed of the United States steamers Wyalusing, Otsego, General Berry, Bazeley, Valley City, Chicopee, tug Belle, and the picket launch No. 5, weighed anchor at 5 p.m., December 9, 1864, and proceeded up the Roanoke river, with Commander W. H. Macomb on board the Wyalusing leading, ...
— Reminiscences of Two Years in the United States Navy • John M. Batten

... and the following one at Ball's Bluff, it was evident that both soldiers and officers would have to be created, and that we were without a military commander competent to direct so vast a war. This led to the formation by Congress of ...
— A Military Genius - Life of Anna Ella Carroll of Maryland • Sarah Ellen Blackwell

... abroad. You sang St. Paul, that night, you may remember, and afterwards I advised you to go into grand opera. A fellow with a voice like yours can't expect to have any secrets of his own." Bobby paused; then he added thoughtfully, "Life is bound to be a good deal of a bluff for us all." ...
— The Dominant Strain • Anna Chapin Ray

... sad picture it is which we thus obtain of merrie England in the good old times of bluff King Hal, wanting altogether in the couleur de rose with which it is tinted by its latest historian Mr Froude, who is ably taken to task on this subject by a recent writer in the Westminster Review, whose conclusions, ...
— The Ship of Fools, Volume 1 • Sebastian Brandt

... watch for Posy, as her mother described her; and whenever the form of a grown-up girl darkened the doorway, she held her breath to listen if Mrs Blossom called her by that pet name. Mr George also was very good to Meg in his bluff way, and bought her a pair of nearly new shoes with his first week's wages, over and above the threepence a day which he paid her. With Mrs Blossom she held many a conversation about the lost girl, who had grown ...
— Little Meg's Children • Hesba Stretton

... Officers of the garrison, bluff sea-captains, spinning yarns of iceberg and floe, soldiers and traders, made up the rest of the company. Among the white men was one eager face,—that of Samuel Hearne, who was to explore the interior and now scanned the birch-bark drawings ...
— Pathfinders of the West • A. C. Laut

... a blame bad bargain," commented the rancher, with unruffled good humor. "I was figuring that I might help you. I thought you were a hobo after my chickens, or trying to bluff me into a free meal this morning. If you'd asked straight for it, I'd have ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... quite as much amused at this account of Moonshine's as I was myself, but he put on a bluff look. ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... 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 threatened to rush north in self-defence. ...
— The Return of Blue Pete • Luke Allan

... savages, I informed Dingaan bluntly that my object in visiting him was to demand the surrender of the white 'ntombozaan whom he held in captivity, I saw at once that, for some reason which I could not then guess, he was very greatly perturbed. But, like the savage he was, he also attempted to "bluff", so that the matter soon resolved itself into a "bluffing match" between us, in which, although I did not know it, I held the advantage. First the king indignantly denied all knowledge of the girl for whom I was then seeking; ...
— Through Veld and Forest - An African Story • Harry Collingwood

... back. It didn't seem worth while making any plea for myself. You see, I was young and had serious streaks all through me. So when she told me that she had written home again, and was going back—was going to leave me, I didn't see that it was only a bluff. I didn't see that she was really only waiting to forgive me, if I gave her a chance. I started downtown to the building and loan office, wondering when she would leave, and if there was anything I could do to make her change her mind. I must repeat ...
— Danny's Own Story • Don Marquis

... instinctively distrusted him, and sneaked away through the woods and up a rocky bluff where ...
— The Biography of a Grizzly • Ernest Thompson Seton

... suddenly, in sharp, crisp tones, that sounded painfully harsh after the old man's broken cries, "Captain, there's a little game of cards called 'Bluff,' and it's an excellent amusement if you don't get caught at it. We shan't have to go any further with the search for clues in this case; but I think I shall have to ask you, my friend, a few little questions in private, and in the interests of a ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... George Court held the office as long as his grandfather before him. He was a man of the bluff and hearty sort, thoroughly typical of old Wednesbury, of Dutch build, yet commanding presence, in language more forcible than polite, and not restrained in the use of his strong language even by the presence ...
— The Parish Clerk (1907) • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... by Mahan to be the most important of the Caribbean Sea for strategic purposes. In 1740-1745 a fortification called Nuestra Senora de los Angeles was erected at the entrance; it is still standing, on a steep bluff overlooking the sea, and is one of the most picturesque of the old fortifications of the island. On the 11th of May 1898 a force from two vessels of the United States fleet under Admiral Schley, searching for ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3 - "Chitral" to "Cincinnati" • Various

... BOYS: You ought to know by this time that you are not wanted in this part of the country. Advise you to sell out and skip. If you stay your lives will be made a hell on earth, and we have the stuff that will do it. This is no bluff, as you will find out if you disregard this word of friendly warning. You will be given a short time to sell your stock, then git. ...
— Ted Strong's Motor Car • Edward C. Taylor

... is my witness, sar, I was ready to die, and there was a moment when I thought that the time had come and Martha was calling me; but Tobias suddenly walked away to the top of the bluff and called out to the Susan B. that was just running up her sails. At his word, they put out a boat for him, and, while he waited, he came down the hill towards me and the dog that stood growling over you; and for sure, I thought it was the end. But he said: ...
— Pieces of Eight • Richard le Gallienne

... 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 ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... of our affection; she is also constructed by definition, 'If it were not too awful a thing to say of anybody, she meant well'—the whole phrase gives exactly Christina's stature. Alethea Pontifex is really a bluff; but the bluff succeeds, largely because, having experience of Christina, we dare not call it. Mrs Jupp is triumphantly complete; there are even moments when she seems as great as Mrs Quickly. The novels that contain three such women (or two if we reckon the uncertain Alethea, ...
— Aspects of Literature • J. Middleton Murry

... of summoning the officers who were to form the court-martial was imposed on Murat. But when this bluff, hearty soldier received this order, he exclaimed: "What! are they trying to soil my uniform! I will not allow it! Let him appoint them himself if he wants to." But a second and more imperious mandate compelled ...
— The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) • John Holland Rose

... found in its vicinity, when it was first discovered and surveyed by Captain Cook. To the southward again of this magnificent sheet of water, where it will be recollected it was the original intention, though afterwards judiciously abandoned, to found the capital of this colony, you behold the high bluff range of hills that stretch away towards the five islands, and likewise indicate the trending of ...
— Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen's Land • William Charles Wentworth

... both being here? Are you going to be sensible and work in with me and divvy up later on, or are you going to risk spoiling everything by trying to hog the whole thing? I'll be square with you. It isn't as if there was any use in trying to bluff each other. We're both here for the same thing. You want to get hold of that powder stuff, that Partridgite, and ...
— Piccadilly Jim • Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

... the utmost fearlessness in bringing to justice and transportation the four ringleaders in the attack on the mill. He had now returned, and one day as he rode over Rushedge Moore from Stilbro' market with a bluff neighbour, he unbosomed himself of the reason why he had remained thus ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books - Vol. II: Fiction • Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

... was Lome Riddle; a big bluff chap with a promising moustache, encouraged by private, tuition. "Come along there, Haviland," he exclaimed, "a nob like you should be one of the 'boys!'" These fellows don't know what life is—but to think of a man of muscle going back ...
— The Young Seigneur - Or, Nation-Making • Wilfrid Chateauclair

... he paid for? That force has been ten days at least turning the east of the Mar Mountains, a week at least on our own side of the frontier. Where were Osbourne's wits? Will it be believed, the column at Lone Bluff is again short of ammunition? This old man of the sea, whom all the world knows to be an ass and whom we can prove to be a coward, is apparently a peculator also. If we were to die to-morrow, the word Osbourne would be found engraven backside ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... imagine her becoming attached to such a man as Holcroft had been described to be. Her uncompromising principle had entered but slightly into his calculations, and so, under the spur of anger and selfishness, he had easily entered upon a game of bluff He knew well enough that he had no claim upon Alida, yet it was in harmony with his false heart to try to make her think so. He had no serious intention of harming Holcroft—he would be afraid to attempt this—but if he could so work on Alida's fears as to induce her to leave her husband, ...
— He Fell in Love with His Wife • Edward P. Roe

... general manager. The tug sheered off and put on speed, while Wimperley and the rest held their breath as they skirted the straining boom that inclosed the raft. Presently the high, sharp bow turned shoreward, steam was cut off and the tug made fast to the sheer side of a little bluff that rose ...
— The Rapids • Alan Sullivan

... before, Sylvester Bascom practically owns this house. It does not belong to the church property. The Episcopals made a big bluff at buying it years ago, and made a very small payment in cash; Bascom took a mortgage for the rest. The interest was paid regularly for a while, and then payments began to fall off. As you have reason to know, Bascom is a generous and kind-hearted man, who would not for the world ...
— Hepsey Burke • Frank Noyes Westcott

... the English Channel. Yet we feel sure that at some time in the past it was a mighty stream, and that its waters surged along over a bed at least two hundred feet higher than now. In proof of this fact we still find, at different places along the chalky bluff, stretches of old gravel banks, laid down there by the river, "reaching sometimes as high as two hundred feet above the present water level, although their usual elevation does not ...
— The Prehistoric World - Vanished Races • E. A. Allen

... and, having completed the preliminary commonplaces, said, as he hurled the core with an energetic sweep of his arm into the ocean at the base of the little bluff ...
— The Law-Breakers and Other Stories • Robert Grant

... that they were following a path that crept up the very face of the bluff. Up— up— up they went until they reached a rift in the wall, and into this the trail went precipitously. Stones clattered down from the hoofs of the horses as they clambered up like mountain goats. Once the Texan had to throw himself ...
— A Texas Ranger • William MacLeod Raine

... many times in San Francisco. Their most satisfactory residence was on a bluff on California Street. Their windows looked down on a lot of Chinese houses—"tin-can houses," they were called—small wooden shanties covered with beaten-out cans. Steve and Mark would look down on these houses, waiting until all the Chinamen were ...
— Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete - The Personal And Literary Life Of Samuel Langhorne Clemens • Albert Bigelow Paine

... 1802. On coming within five miles of the shore at eleven o'clock, we found it to be low and mostly sandy; and that the bluff head, which had been taken for the north end of an island, was part of a ridge of hills rising at Cape Schanck. We then bore away westward, in order to trace the land round the head of the ...
— A Source Book Of Australian History • Compiled by Gwendolen H. Swinburne

... to the Captain of the Hydrographer, the bluff skipper set the young man down as a college boy in search of sociological experience and therefore to be viewed with good-humored tolerance—good-humored, because Dan was six feet tall and had combative red-gold hair. ...
— Dan Merrithew • Lawrence Perry

... circulars would satisfy anybody that black was white, and the free trial was a sure bait. I don't know why 'tis, but if you offered the smallpox free, there'd be a barrel of victims waiting in line to come down with it. Brown rigged up a little shanty on the bluff in front of the "Old Home," and filled it full of barometers and thermometers and chronometers and charts, and put Beriah and Eben inside to look wise and make b'lieve do something. That was the office of "The South Shore Weather Bureau," ...
— Cape Cod Stories - The Old Home House • Joseph C. Lincoln

... see that," said the bluff skipper. "It'd do him good to be six months aboard my vessel under me. I'd make another man of him. Ah, you may laugh, my young sharper. You think I'm a quiet, good-tempered sort of an old chap, but a ship's captain has to be a bit ...
— The King's Esquires - The Jewel of France • George Manville Fenn

... enthusiasm; now he seemed to have no thought that was not selfish and mean, now imagination rapt him to a glow of heart-felt patriotism. The good and the bad both stood him in stead, and hope reigned in his camp. But all hung in the balance, for Sir Winterton was tall and handsome, bluff and hearty, a good landlord, a good sportsman, a good man, a neighbour to the town and a friend to half of it. And the great cry did not seem ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... tarry hat, The way he swore, the way he spat, A certain quality of manner, Alarming like the pirate's banner - Something that did not seem to suit all - Something, O call it bluff, not brutal - Something at least, howe'er it's called, Made Robin ...
— Moral Emblems • Robert Louis Stevenson

... course I didn't believe a word of that! It was just a bluff to keep from seeming to need anything. So I smiled at her and said, 'That's all right, but suppose something happens this evening so he doesn't get here. I guess you'd better take the six sous—they ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... said he, "caterpillars are past-masters of bluff. Look at the hawkmoths, fat, flabby, bloated things, with curly tails. Most of them fling their heads back, arch their necks, and play at being snakes. Some grow eyes upon them, not real eyes, but ...
— "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" - Studies of Animal life and Character • Douglas English

... hands, ready to lower the sails at a moment's notice; the oars were got out, prepared for any emergency. The boats glided on. Instead of the tumbling, hissing waters through which they had lately passed, all was calm and smooth. On the right was a high bluff, with a reef running out from it. On the left the land was more level, but everywhere covered with low, stunted trees; while the shores on either hand were fringed with black, rugged rocks, and ahead rose ranges of hills, ...
— The Voyages of the Ranger and Crusader - And what befell their Passengers and Crews. • W.H.G. Kingston

... prosperous-looking man of forty-odd, a typical product of country politics. His manner was carefully bluff and hearty and characterized by a sort of bonhommie that was useful in impressing voters with the fact that he was a pretty good fellow, his close-set eyes sparkled with intelligence that his low brow defined as cunning rather than wisdom, and there were puffy semicircles beneath them that told ...
— The Monk of Hambleton • Armstrong Livingston

... glory of the sunset heaven On land and water lay; On the steep hills of Agawam, On cape, and bluff, and bay. ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... the very peak of the ridge now, and the hill sloped smoothly down before them to the bluff which bounded Quitter Creek. Far down, a tiny black speck in the coulee-bottom, they could see Wooden Shoes riding along the creek-bank, scouting for water. From the way he rode, and from the fact that camp was nowhere in sight, Pink guessed shrewdly that his ...
— Rowdy of the Cross L • B.M. Sinclair, AKA B.M. Bower

... our operations the welcome news was made public that four more fish like the present one would fill us bung-up, and that we should then, after a brief visit to the Bluff, start direct for home. This announcement, though expected for some time past, gave an amazing fillip to everybody's interest in the work. The strange spectacle was witnessed of all hands being anxious to quit a snug harbour ...
— The Cruise of the Cachalot - Round the World After Sperm Whales • Frank T. Bullen

... worth while to illustrate our meaning by an instance or two, to show that, far from being hypercritical, our canon of criticism is extremely indulgent, and that we never take the bluff and surly objection—it cannot be!—until the improbability has reached the core of the matter. In the first story, "The Birth Mark," we raise no objection to the author, because he invents a chemistry of his own, and supposes his hero in possession of marvellous secrets which enable ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 62, Number 385. November, 1847. • Various



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



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