• (noun): An indirect or subtle, usually derogatory implication in expression; an insinuation.
  • (noun): Law A plaintiff's interpretation in a libel suit of allegedly libelous or slanderous material.
  • (noun): Law A parenthetic explanation of a word or charge in a legal document.

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Wordnet definitions

  • (noun): an indirect (and usually malicious) implication

Look up "innuendo" to find its meanings and associations with other words and concepts


An innuendo is a hint, insinuation or intimation about a person or thing, especially of a denigrating or a derogatory nature. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging (also called insinuation), that works obliquely by allusion. In the latter sense the intention is often to insult or accuse someone in such a way that one's words, taken literally, are innocent.
According to the Advanced Oxford Learner's Dictionary, an innuendo is \"an indirect remark about somebody or something, usually suggesting something bad, mean or rude\", such as: \"innuendos about her private life\" or \"The song is full of sexual innuendo\".The term sexual innuendo has acquired a specific meaning, namely that of a \"risqué\" double entendre by playing on a possibly sexual interpretation of an otherwise innocent uttering. For example: \"We need to go deeper\" can be seen as either a request for further inquiry, or a request to go deeper into an intimate part.
In the context of defamation law, an innuendo meaning is one which is not directly contained in the words complained of, but which would be understood by those reading it based on special knowledge.

Example Sentences

  • The word innuendo has appeared in 68 New York Times articles in the past year, including on Aug. 31 in "Bullying Law Puts New Jersey Schools on Spot" by Winnie Hu: "It's not the traditional bullying: the big kid in the schoolyard saying, 'You're going to do what I say,' " Richard Bergacs, an assistant principal at North Hunterdon High, said.

  • If it was a big thing, perhaps she'd be interested ... (f'nar f'nar) innuendo is Italian for enema - heard it on Radio 2

  • Your innuendo is absolutly insane, that the mayor of one city is controlling an entire county's election consisting of several cities, and election officials.

  • Learn more about the word "innuendo" and see usage examples across a range of subjects on the dictionary.

  • Owen Thomas, Valleywag’s puckish editor, will continue to spin innuendo from the tech scene for Gawker. com, which is becoming a more nationally oriented gossip site.

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