Definition of innuendo in US English:



  • An allusive or oblique remark or hint, typically a suggestive or disparaging one.

    ‘she's always making sly innuendoes’
    ‘a constant torrent of innuendo, gossip, lies, and half-truths’
    • ‘‘I am making a sterling plea to members of the public to avoid speculation and innuendos until the investigations are completed and the report is published,’ he implored.’
    • ‘There will always be sex jokes to tell and innuendos to be made.’
    • ‘There's not much promise in the situation, and the dialogue has a few innuendos that are, by the standards of the time, gross.’
    • ‘His letter is a collection of false assertions, distortions, innuendos, contradictions, and misreadings.’
    • ‘Anyway, if you're wondering what all the innuendos of the movie are trying to say or what the grand meaning you take from the flick is, here it is: Nothing.’
    • ‘It is possible to have a political conversation with someone who is the polar opposite of you without using ugly words and nasty innuendos.’
    • ‘I was going to slaughter James for his constant sexual innuendos.’
    • ‘And even though there was a lack of detail, simple innuendos suggested that one was female and the other male.’
    • ‘When sexual innuendos were actually made they appeared forced in order to appease my interests - they failed in this attempt.’
    • ‘You do not mean those snitchy innuendos about your friends being freeloaders.’
    • ‘The list of wrong stories, innuendos, misdirection, disinformation and outright lies that have been printed and broadcast on behalf of the Republican party in the mainstream press is staggering.’
    • ‘I smiled at the memory of all his sexual innuendos and how they always managed to leave me either completely flustered or speechless.’
    • ‘I laughed, thoroughly amused by his responses to my innuendos.’
    • ‘So I called again and this time he tells me a whole set of things that had some nasty innuendos to them and there's a disgusting laugh in the background from yet another male.’
    • ‘Problems occurred, however, when the behavior was unwelcome by staff members or if the behaviors included lewd remarks or sexual innuendos.’
    • ‘And, in their laddish way, they will make lewd and disparaging remarks and innuendos.’
    • ‘In your desire to blacken the reputation of Indonesia, you have resorted to the dissemination of falsehoods, misrepresentations and innuendos without any factual basis.’
    • ‘Presumably without checking with their own intelligence experts or the White House, the three Democratic leaders went public with their incendiary innuendos.’
    • ‘Dress conduct, sexual innuendos at the workplace and other such issues are raised in the book.’
    • ‘I don't understand how people can be so cruel and unfeeling as to create havoc and distress in another person's life based on nothing but innuendos and rumors.’
    insinuation, implication, hint, suggestion, intimation, overtone, undertone, whisper, allusion, nuance, reference, imputation, aspersion, slur
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (as an adverb in the sense ‘that is to say, to wit’, used in legal documents to introduce an explanation): Latin, ‘by nodding at, by pointing to’, ablative gerund of innuere, from in- ‘towards’ + nuere ‘to nod’. The noun dates from the late 17th century.