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double entendre

[duhb-uh l ahn-tahn-druh, -tahnd; French doo-blahn-tahn-druh]
noun, plural dou·ble en·ten·dres [duhb-uh l ahn-tahn-druh z, -tahndz; French doo-blahn-tahn-druh] /ˈdʌb əl ɑnˈtɑn drəz, -ˈtɑndz; French du blɑ̃ˈtɑ̃ drə/.
  1. a double meaning.
  2. a word or expression used in a given context so that it can be understood in two ways, especially when one meaning is risqué.
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Origin of double entendre

From obsolete French, dating back to 1665–75; see origin at double, intend
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for entendre

double entendre

noun
  1. a word, phrase, etc, that can be interpreted in two ways, esp one having one meaning that is indelicate
  2. the type of humour that depends upon such ambiguity
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Word Origin

C17: from obsolete French: double meaning
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for entendre

double entendre

also double-entendre, 1670s, from French (where it was rare and is now obsolete), literally "a twofold meaning," from entendre (now entente) "to hear, to understand, to mean." The proper Modern French phrase would be double entente, but the phrase has become established in English in its old form.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper