double entendre

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From French double (double) + entendre (to mean, to understand).



A woman walks into a bar and asks the barman for a double entendre and he gives it to her.


double entendre (plural double entendres)

  1. (idiomatic) A phrase that has two meanings, especially where one is innocent and literal, the other risqué, bawdy, or ironic; an innuendo.
  2. (nonstandard) plural form of double entendre
    • 1812, A treatise on politeness, tr. from the French by a lady, page 172
      Avoid all equivocal expressions, usually denominated double entendre; they are certain proofs of a mean and indelicate mind.
    • 1891, Paulist Fathers, Catholic World, page 785
      It is a momentous crusade without the cross; and an insidious one, for the calumnies and double entendre against the church are well wrapped up and keenly distributed.
    • 2000, James P. Lantolf, Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning, page 126
      It is not only the teacher's play with single words, phrases, and double entendre that are common in my classroom data.


Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ ‖double entendre” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [2nd Ed.; 1989]