Definition of innuendo
Examples of innuendo in a sentence
His reputation has been damaged by innuendos about his drinking and gambling.
His reputation has been damaged by innuendo.
The movie relies on sexual innuendo for its humor.
Did You Know?
The word innuere in classical Latin meant “to nod, beckon, or make a sign to” a person, and in medieval Latin more generally “to hint” or “to insinuate.” One form of the gerund of this verb was innuendo, which meant “by hinting.” In medieval legal documents innuendo introduced inserted remarks, meaning “to wit” or “that is to say,” and the word was adopted with the same function into English legal usage. By the late 17th century innuendo was used to refer to the insertion itself and more broadly to any indirect suggestion. Later, the notion of the derogatory possibilities of such remarks came to predominate.
Origin and Etymology of innuendo
Latin, by nodding, from innuere to nod to, make a sign to, from in- + nuere to nod; akin to Latin nutare to nod — more at numen
First Known Use: 1678
INNUENDO Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of innuendo for English Language Learners
: a statement which indirectly suggests that someone has done something immoral, improper, etc.
Legal Definition of innuendo
: a parenthetical explanation of the text of a legal document; especially : an explanation in a complaint for defamation of the defamatory meaning of a statement by the defendant which is not defamatory on its face — compare inducement
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up innuendo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).