double entendre

dou·​ble en·​ten·​dre | \ ˈdə-bəl-än-ˈtänd(-rə) How to pronounce double entendre (audio) , ˈdüb-ᵊl-äⁿ-ˈtäⁿd(rᵊ) How to pronounce double entendre (audio) \
plural double entendres\ ˈdə-​bəl-​än-​ˈtänd(-​rə) How to pronounce double entendre (audio) , ˈdüb-​ᵊl-​äⁿ-​ˈtäⁿd(rᵊ)(z) How to pronounce double entendre (audio) also  ˈdüb-​ᵊl-​äⁿ-​ˈtäⁿz ; ˈdə-​bəl-​än-​ˈtän-​drəz \

Definition of double entendre

1 linguistics : a word or expression capable of two interpretations with one usually risqué flirty talk full of double entendres
2 literature : ambiguity of meaning arising from language that lends itself to more than one interpretation

What is the Difference Between a double entendre and a pun?

The words double entendre and pun are both about double meanings. Double entendre, in fact, originated in an obsolete expression in French, which means “double meaning.” The origins of pun are less certain, but it likely traces to the Italian word puntiglio meaning “fine point, quibble.” In English, double entendre refers to a double meaning in which one meaning is usually shocking or risqué in its sexual suggestiveness. Pun usually has more to do with silly or humorous double meanings than with anything sexually suggestive or lewd.

Examples of double entendre in a Sentence

The song's title is a double entendre.
Recent Examples on the Web The creator Adam Goldman’s script is filled with sharp dialogue and enough double entendre to keep you giggling minutes after the jokes land. Eric Mcquade, The Atlantic, 27 Dec. 2021 There Were True Meme-able Moments Viktor & Rolf, masters of the couture double entendre, built an entire show as a meditation on not just the brocade and bejeweled trappings, but the actual meaning of royalty (kind of a hot button topic these days). New York Times, 10 July 2021 The bar's party atmosphere and drinks menu ripe with double entendre are hard to miss. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 8 Apr. 2021 The sybaritic Bond was an ace with women, a master of intricate weaponry and the double entendre, a cultured vinophile (who preferred martinis — shaken, not stirred) and a violent thug who wore bespoke tuxedos. Washington Post, 31 Oct. 2020 Not content with a mere double entendre, Elon Musk hits at least three. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, 7 July 2020 Most kids’ animation is pap: conventions and tropes punched up with smarmy double entendre for the benefit of the adults who bought the tickets. Rumaan Alam, The New Yorker, 23 Apr. 2020 Cantonese is supple, playful, full of puns and double entendres. Yi-ling Liu, Harper's Magazine, 31 Aug. 2019 Take a Fuddruckers ad from the early 1980s that is rife with double entendres. Maria Cramer, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'double entendre.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of double entendre

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for double entendre

obsolete French, literally, double meaning

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Time Traveler for double entendre

Time Traveler

The first known use of double entendre was in 1673

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Dictionary Entries Near double entendre

double Englishman's knot

double entendre

double entry

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Statistics for double entendre

Last Updated

12 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Double entendre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for double entendre

double entendre


English Language Learners Definition of double entendre

: a word or expression that can be understood in two different ways with one way usually referring to sex


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