Innuendo In`nu*en"do, n.; pl. {Innuedoes}(?). [L., by intimation, by hinting, gerund of innuere, innutum, to give a nod, to intimate; pref. in- in, to + -nuere (in comp.) to nod. See {Nutation}.] 1. An oblique hint; a remote allusion or reference, usually derogatory to a person or thing not named; an insinuation. [1913 Webster]

Mercury . . . owns it a marriage by an innuendo. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

Pursue your trade of scandal picking; Your innuendoes, when you tell us, That Stella loves to talk with fellows. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

2. (Law) An averment employed in pleading, to point the application of matter otherwise unintelligible; an interpretative parenthesis thrown into quoted matter to explain an obscure word or words; -- as, the plaintiff avers that the defendant said that he (innuendo the plaintiff) was a thief. --Wharton. [1913 Webster]

Note: The term is so applied from having been the introductory word of this averment or parenthetic explanation when pleadings were in Latin. The word ``meaning'' is used as its equivalent in modern forms.

Syn: Insinuation; suggestion; hint; intimation; reference; allusion; implication; representation; -- {Innuendo}, {Insinuation}.

Usage: An innuendo is an equivocal allusion so framed as to point distinctly at something which is injurious to the character or reputation of the person referred to. An insinuation turns on no such double use of language, but consists in artfully winding into the mind imputations of an injurious nature without making any direct charge. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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  • innuendo — 1670s, oblique hint, indiscreet suggestion, usually a depreciatory one, from L. innuendo by meaning, pointing to, lit. giving a nod to, ablative of gerund of innuere to mean, signify, lit. to nod to, from in at + nuere to nod (see NUMINOUS (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • innuendo — insinuation Analogous words: hinting or hint, intimation, suggestion (see corresponding verbs at SUGGEST): implication, inference: allusion (see corresponding verb at REFER) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • innuendo — meaning ‘an indirectly disparaging hint or remark’, has the plural form innuendoes. The word is derived from a Latin gerund (verbal noun) meaning ‘by nodding at’, i.e. ‘by pointing to, by meaning’. In English it was originally used in legal… …   Modern English usage

  • innuendo — [n] suggestion allusion, aside, aspersion, hint, implication, imputation, insinuation, intimation, overtone, reference, whisper; concepts 75,278 Ant. evidence, proof …   New thesaurus

  • innuendo — ► NOUN (pl. innuendoes or innuendos) ▪ an allusive or oblique remark, typically a suggestive or disparaging one. ORIGIN originally used in legal documents, meaning «that is to say»: from Latin, by nodding at, by pointing to , from in towards +… …   English terms dictionary

  • innuendo — [in΄yo͞o en′dō] n. pl. innuendoes or innuendos [L, by nodding to, abl. of ger. of innuere, to nod to, hint < in , in + nuere, to nod < IE base * neu , to jerk, beckon, nod > Sans návatē, (he) turns, L numen, a nod] 1. Law explanatory… …   English World dictionary

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