- an indirect intimation about a person or thing, especially of a disparaging or a derogatory nature.
- a parenthetic explanation or specification in a pleading.
- (in an action for slander or libel) the explanation and elucidation of the words alleged to be defamatory.
- the word or expression thus explained.
Origin of innuendo
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for innuendo
But the entendre and innuendo permeates the rest of the series—often innocently, but sometimes far more blatantly.‘Mozart in the Jungle’: Inside Amazon’s Brave New World of Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music
December 23, 2014
The definition of “innuendo,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “an oblique allusion.”Bill Cosby’s Long List of Accusers (So Far): 18 Alleged Sexual Assault Victims Between 1965-2004
November 24, 2014
For years your bright light was darkened by a blizzard of lies, cheating and innuendo.I Pushed the Lance Armstrong Lie: An Open Letter to Greg LeMond
July 31, 2014
Rumors, innuendo and passive aggressive jokes—those are huge distractions.Michael Sam Is Not a ‘Distraction’
February 12, 2014
And then, with the innuendo of advertising copy, things get a little steamy.Seduced by Art & Beauty ‘At the House of Mr X’
January 17, 2014
He might degrade Marcolina by mockery and lascivious phrases, full of innuendo.Casanova's Homecoming
Then without waiting for a reply to this innuendo he turned his attention to Hardy.Hidden Water
I was forced to accept the innuendo beneath his enigmatic utterances.
In an audience thus susceptible to innuendo Lyly saw his opportunity.John Lyly
John Dover Wilson
The innuendo, if designed to make Mowbray smile, was far from succeeding.St. Ronan's Well
Sir Walter Scott
- an indirect or subtle reference, esp one made maliciously or indicating criticism or disapproval; insinuation
- law (in pleading) a word introducing an explanatory phrase, usually in parenthesis
- law (in an action for defamation)
- an explanation of the construction put upon words alleged to be defamatory where the defamatory meaning is not apparent
- the words thus explained
Word Origin and History for innuendo
1670s, "oblique hint, indiscreet suggestion," usually a deprecatory one, from Latin innuendo "by meaning, pointing to," literally "giving a nod to," ablative of gerund of innuere "to mean, signify," literally "to nod to," from in- "at" + nuere "to nod" (see numinous). Originally a legal phrase (1560s) from Medieval Latin, with the sense of "to wit." It often introduced the derogatory meaning alleged in libel cases, which influenced its broader meaning. As a verb, from 1706.