double entendre

noun
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 entendres (audio) , ˈdüb-​ᵊl-​äⁿ-​ˈtäⁿd(rᵊ)(z) 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 Each time that the pair meets up, their conversation is shrouded in innuendo and double entendre. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "The Plot Twist In The Rhythm Section Just Wasn’t Twisty Enough," 31 Jan. 2020 But others, including Governor Kristi Noem, defended the double entendre as effective advertising. CBS News, "PSA gaffe or genius slogan? South Dakota's new anti-meth ad gets mixed reviews," 19 Nov. 2019 Look beyond Dana Osborne’s clever costumes and double entendres of all kinds abound. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "At the Goodman Theatre, ‘Bernhardt/Hamlet’ is a takedown of the guys in Bardland — with some rough patches," 24 Sep. 2019 The inscription, with its double entendre and pungent specificity (were the horn-tooting habits of the train engineers really so distinct?) has a poetic concision that goes beyond the scope of images. Washington Post, "First the New Yorker profiled Romare Bearden. Then the artist and activist decided to tell his own story, in pictures.," 9 Oct. 2019 Adkins, meanwhile, is much more the country-rocker, taking classic crunchy guitar riffs and retrofitting them with a touch of twang and subject matter full of fishing, pickup trucks and lots of winking double entendre. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Trace Adkins, Clint Black, Terri Clark shimmer in rainy Grandstand show," 25 Aug. 2019 Maybe, but in that wizarding world, there’s far more potential for double entendres and kinky puns. John Wenzel, The Know, "Ruin your fondest childhood memories at “Harry Potter & the Mysterious Merkin” burlesque show," 19 Aug. 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 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

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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Statistics for double entendre

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Double entendre.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/double entendre. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for double entendre

double entendre

noun
How to pronounce double entendre (audio) How to pronounce double entendre (audio)

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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