call (somebody's) bluff


1. challenge someone to do what they are threatening to do or prove that what they're saying is true






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I knew he/she was lying so I called his/her bluff

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The idiom to call someone's bluff means to expose someone as being incapable of carrying out an intention or threat they have made or challenge someone do prove something they have threatened to do.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Advance)

  1. I called a bluff on the idea that we could downsize our workforce without negatively impacting our plans for expansion. It just didn't sound feasible.
  2. Mike tried to get a raise by claiming another company had offered him a better paid position. I knew he was lying so I called his bluff and wished him luck in his new job.
  3. I threatened to resign if the company didn't implement the changes I put forward. Unfortunately, they had no hesitation calling my bluff so my plan backfired badly!

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. Damian claimed he was friendly with the band I like so when they came to play in town I called his bluff and asked him to get us tickets.
  2. Johnathan told me he could give up smoking any time he wanted but when we called his bluff it was clear that was not true.

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