Origin: 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. Mercury . . . Owns it a marriage by an innuendo. (Dryden) Pursue your trade of scandal picking; Your innuendoes, when you tell us, That Stella loves to talk with fellows. (Swift)
2. 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.
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.