double entendre

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

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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

Of the many options available, PackIt products are especially cool — double entendre intended — because the bags have a freezable gel built into their walls. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, "These gadgets will keep summer dining safe," 26 June 2019 Any of the show’s songs referencing orgasms rely on double entendres and other word play. Whitney Friedlander, Marie Claire, "TV Sex Scenes Are Unrealistic. Rachel Bloom Wants to Change That," 1 Mar. 2019 Others pointed out that the show has always been a little risqué, relying on double entendres since its start decades ago. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Pauley Perrette Just Called Out ‘Family Feud’ for Being Too ‘Filthy’," 15 Aug. 2018 Most of her work came with double entendres that were sharp as swords and could quickly be turned on their heads. Koko Ntuen, Teen Vogue, "Aretha Franklin Taught Me to Respect Myself and Demand Respect from the World," 17 Aug. 2018 Image Dan Ingram, a popular disc jockey whose wisecracks and double entendres rippled through the air at rock ’n’ roll stations in New York City from the early 1960s to the early 21st century, died on Sunday at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Dan Ingram, Irreverent Disc Jockey, Is Dead at 83," 25 June 2018 Young Victoria Janicki is affecting as Viola/Cesario, full of double entendre and vibrantly present. Hugh Hunter,, "Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's 'Twelfth Night': A hilarious tragedy on human frailty," 24 June 2018 Danny Rutigliano brings a Danny DeVito dirtiness to Dimas, gardener of veggies and double entendres. John Timpane,, "'Triumph of Love' at Bristol Riverside: Goofy, bawdy romp," 11 May 2018 The play’s humor depends on fast-talk, anachronistic modern references, puns and double entendres — and MacKinnon’s able cast gets all of this just right. Matthew J. Palm,, "St. Luke's 'Peter and the Starcatcher' takes flight," 13 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for double entendre

Last Updated

27 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for double entendre

The first known use of double entendre was in 1673

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on double entendre

Spanish Central: Translation of double entendre

Comments on double entendre

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