double meaning

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double meaning (plural double meanings)

  1. The situation in which a word or phrase has two different, often opposite, meanings. For example, wicked can mean both "good" and "bad".
  2. A deliberate construction that plays on two separate meanings of a word or words; a pun.
    • 2011, Patrick Spedding, James Lambert, “Fanny Hill, Lord Fanny, and the Myth of Metonymy”, in Studies in Philology, volume 108, number 1, page 118:
      It is important to note that connotation is different from an unambiguous “double meaning” or “pun.” With a pun both meanings have to be lexically current but with connotation it is the multiple, even ambiguous, associations of each word that are important.)

See also