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implication, directness, clarity, explicitness


GRE 2 (Graduate Record Examination), Interaction and Articulation, Words and Language, Lexicon and Linguistics



How to pronounce innuendo (audio)


Dictionary definition of innuendo

A subtle or indirect hint or reference to something, usually of a derogatory nature, that conveys a meaning that is not stated directly.
"She used innuendo to hint at her feelings without saying them outright."

Detailed meaning of innuendo

Innuendos often carry a double meaning, implying a hidden message or intention that is intended to be understood by the listener, but not stated outright. They can be used to make sly or suggestive comments, to hint at something that is too sensitive or embarrassing to be said directly, or to imply a secret or confidential message. Innuendos are often used in a playful or flirtatious manner, but they can also be used to insult or criticize someone in a subtle way. The use of innuendos can add a layer of complexity and humor to a conversation, but they can also create confusion or misunderstandings if not used carefully.

Example sentences containing innuendo

1. Her innuendo about his intentions left him feeling uneasy.
2. The comedian's innuendo-filled jokes had the audience in stitches.
3. The article contained several innuendos about the politician's character.
4. He didn't appreciate the innuendo in her remarks about his work.
5. The film was filled with clever innuendo that kept viewers guessing.
6. Detecting the innuendo in her words required a keen understanding.

History and etymology of innuendo

The noun 'innuendo' has its roots in Latin, stemming from the phrase 'innuere,' which means 'to nod at' or 'to signal.' This etymological origin aptly captures the essence of 'innuendo' as it refers to a subtle or indirect hint or reference to something, often with derogatory implications, without stating it explicitly. Over time, 'innuendo' transitioned into Italian as 'innuendare' before making its way into English, retaining its sense of alluding to something indirectly. The etymology of 'innuendo' mirrors the act of signaling or nodding toward a hidden meaning, making it a fitting term for such covert and suggestive language usage.

Quiz: Find the meaning of innuendo

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Further usage examples of innuendo

1. The innuendo in the gossip column created quite a scandal.
2. The author skillfully used innuendo to build tension in the story.
3. The politician used innuendo to attack his opponent's credibility.
4. His innuendo-laden comments raised eyebrows at the office.
5. The comedian's innuendo was both witty and risqué.
6. The journalist's innuendo hinted at a deeper conspiracy.
7. The courtroom drama was filled with innuendo and accusations.
8. The host's innuendo sparked a lively debate among the guests.
9. She couldn't help but laugh at the clever innuendo in the play.
10. His innuendo-laden flirting was met with a playful response.
11. The detective's innuendo pointed to a possible suspect.
12. The innuendo in the song's lyrics added depth to the music.
13. The actress skillfully delivered her lines with subtle innuendo.
14. The novel's innuendo revealed the characters' hidden motives.
15. The statement was filled with innuendo and implied something else.
16. He was known for his subtle innuendo in his speeches.
17. She made a comment filled with innuendo that left everyone wondering.
18. The lyrics of the song were filled with innuendo and had a double meaning.
19. He made an innuendo about her appearance that made her feel uncomfortable.
20. She used innuendo to hint at her feelings without saying them outright.
21. The advertisement was filled with innuendo and suggested something more than it showed.
22. He made an innuendo about his colleague's work that was not appropriate.
23. She was uncomfortable with the innuendo in the conversation.
24. The comedy skit was filled with innuendo that made the audience laugh.
25. He used innuendo to flirt with her without being too obvious.
26. She was not amused by the innuendo in his jokes.

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