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Alternative forms[edit]


From the Latin innuendō (by nodding), ablative singular form of innuendum (a nodding), gerund of innuō (I give a nod).


  • IPA(key): /ˌɪnjuˈɛndəʊ/
  • Rhymes: -ɛndəʊ
  • (file)
  • (file)


innuendo (plural innuendoes or innuendos or innuendis)

  1. A derogatory hint or reference to a person or thing. An implication, intimation or insinuation.
    • 1831, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Romance and Reality, volume 3, page 273:
      At dinner, a dish of stewed eels made Mr. Higgs a little pensive, and he remarked, "that the fair sex slipped through your fingers just like eels." This innuendo was, however, all that disturbed the enjoyment of the day, whose hilarity, as the newspapers say of a public dinner, was prolonged to a late hour.
    She made a devious innuendo about her husband, who was embarrassed.
  2. (logic) A rhetorical device with an omitted, but obvious conclusion, made to increase the force of an argument.
  3. (law) Part of a pleading in cases of libel and slander, pointing out what and who was meant by the libellous matter or description.

Derived terms[edit]



innuendo (third-person singular simple present innuendos, present participle innuendoing, simple past and past participle innuendoed)

  1. (transitive, law) To interpret (something libellous or slanderous) in terms of what was implied.
    • 1894, Frank Towers Cooper, A Handbook of the Law of Defamation and Verbal Injury (page 119)
      A statement that a person's presence at a certain club may be "irksome," may be innuendoed that the person is of such bad character as not to be a fit associate with honourable men.

Further reading[edit]





  1. dative gerund of innuō