Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A derogatory hint or reference to a person or thing. An implication or insinuation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An oblique hint; a remote allusion or reference, usually derogatory to a person or thing not named; an insinuation.
  • n. An averment employed in pleading, to point the application of matter otherwise unintelligible; an interpretative parenthesis thrown into quoted matter to explain an obscure word or words; -- as, the plaintiff avers that the defendant said that he (innuendo the plaintiff) was a thief.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • [L.] Intimating; insinuating; signifying: a word used at the beginning of an explanatory parenthetical clause in Latin (Middle Latin), and still occasionally in English, pleadings, introducing the person or thing meant: as, he (innuendo the plaintiff) did so and so.
  • n.; pl. innuendos or innuendoes (-dōz). An oblique hint; an indirect intimation about a person or thing; an allusive or inferential suggestion: commonly used in a bad sense, but sometimes in an innocent one. Also, erroneously, inuendo.
  • Synonyms See hint, transitive verb (end of comparison).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an indirect (and usually malicious) implication

Etymologies

From Latin innuendō, by hinting, ablative of innuendum, gerund of innuere, to nod to : in-, to, toward; see in-2 + -nuere, to nod.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin innuendō ("by nodding"), ablative singular form of innuendum ("a nodding"), gerund of innuō ("I give a nod"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • If you don't have a screen you'll get flies innuendo. The Barn

    November 10, 2013


  • I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of inflections
    Or the beauty of innuendoes,
    The blackbird whistling
    Or just after.

    - Wallace Stevens, 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird'.

    August 31, 2009

  • "Attend, ye skilled to coin the precious tale,
    Creating proof, where innuendos fail!"
    Sheridan, School for Scandal

    January 2, 2008