double entendre

noun

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
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

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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 Israel Boyd: Well, the title Metamorphosis Complete is a little bit of a double entendre. Vrinda Jagota, SPIN, 1 July 2024 To these audiences, double entendre and the tantalizing unseen were more important to the performance than nudity. The Editors, JSTOR Daily, 26 June 2024 The debonair heir to the 007 mantle tones down Connery's brutality and cocks an amused eyebrow at the international-man-of-mystery proceedings — usually accompanied by a saucy double entendre. Chris Nashawaty, EW.com, 29 May 2024 This double entendre uses the Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard to evoke Lamar’s fiancée, Whitney Alford, who was featured on cover of Lamar’s Mr. Morale the Big Steppers with their two children. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 6 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for double entendre 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'double entendre.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

obsolete French, literally, double meaning

First Known Use

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of double entendre was in 1673

Dictionary Entries Near double entendre

Cite this Entry

“Double entendre.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/double%20entendre. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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