noun, plural in·nu·en·dos, in·nu·en·does.
- 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
In Latin innuendo is a gerund, a verbal noun more or less equivalent to verbal nouns ending in -ing in English, as for instance, the noun “reading” in “I like reading,” which is equivalent to the simple infinitive, as in “I like to read.” Latin innuendo is in the ablative singular case (and so to be translated “by __ing”) and means “by hinting, by intimating.” In legal documents in Medieval Latin, innuendo was used as an adverb meaning “to wit, that is to say, i.e.” (its original meaning in English in the 16th century); innuendo introduced a parenthetical explanation of the exact reference of a noun or pronoun, especially in cases of slander or libel in which innuendo introduced clarifying statements about what and who was meant by the libel or slander. By the late 17th century, innuendo in English acquired a noun sense “an indirect and usually derogatory intimation about someone or something.”
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|Kevin Fallon|December 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Marlow Stern|November 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Mark McKinnon|July 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Rumors, innuendo and passive aggressive jokes—those are huge distractions.
And then, with the innuendo of advertising copy, things get a little steamy.
"And you're not married yet," continued Mrs. Tucker, oblivious of the innuendo.On the Frontier|Bret Harte
Once the verse ended with an innuendo so crude that a gathering of navvies might have resented it.The Blower of Bubbles|Arthur Beverley Baxter
If Ellen sensed this jocose rebuke, she at least neither resented it nor paid the slightest heed to its innuendo.The Wall Between|Sara Ware Bassett
There is nothing cheaper or easier or falser than that sort of innuendo.Scarlet and Hyssop|E. F. Benson
Instead, he had made Joes supposed offense the greater by suggestion and innuendo.Carolyn of the Corners|Ruth Belmore Endicott
British Dictionary definitions for innuendo
noun plural -dos or -does
- 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 for innuendo
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.