Definition of innuendo
- resorting to innuendo
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.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'innuendo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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.
What made you want to look up innuendo? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Find the Cousins