Definition of innuendo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌɪnjʊˈɛndəʊ/

noun (plural innuendoes or innuendos)

An allusive or oblique remark or hint, typically a suggestive or disparaging one: she’s always making sly innuendoes [mass noun]: a constant torrent of innuendo, gossip, lies, and half-truths
More example sentences
  • And, in their laddish way, they will make lewd and disparaging remarks and innuendos.
  • Problems occurred, however, when the behavior was unwelcome by staff members or if the behaviors included lewd remarks or sexual innuendos.
  • When sexual innuendos were actually made they appeared forced in order to appease my interests - they failed in this attempt.
insinuation, implication, hint, suggestion, intimation, overtone, undertone, whisper, allusion, nuance, reference, imputation, aspersion, slur


Mid 16th century (as an adverb in the sense 'that is to say, to wit', used in legal documents to introduce an explanation): Latin, 'by nodding at, by pointing to', ablative gerund of innuere, from in- 'towards' + nuere 'to nod'. The noun dates from the late 17th century.

  • Early legal documents would introduce an explanation of a word with innuendo, meaning ‘that is to say, to wit’, as in ‘he (innuendo the plaintiff) is a thief’ from a mid 17th-century glossary. Innuendo comes from a Latin word meaning ‘by nodding at, by pointing to’, from in ‘towards’ and nuere ‘to nod’. In the late 17th century it became possible to have an innuendo, ‘an explanation’, and also the modern sense, ‘an oblique remark or hint’.

Words that rhyme with innuendo

crescendo, diminuendo, kendo

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in¦nu|endo

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