double entendre [duhb-uh l ahn-tahn-druh, -tahnd; French doo-blahn-tahn-druh] Word Originnoun, plural dou·ble en·ten·dres [duhb-uh l ahn-tahn-druh z, -tahndz; French doo-blahn-tahn-druh] /ˈdʌb əl ɑnˈtɑn drəz, -ˈtɑndz; French du blɑ̃ˈtɑ̃ drə/.
- a double meaning.
- a word or expression used in a given context so that it can be understood in two ways, especially when one meaning is risqué.
Origin of double entendre From obsolete French, dating back to 1665–75; see origin at double, intend Related Words for double entendre innuendo, pun, ambiguity, equivocation, joke, equivocality, equivoque, tergiversation British Dictionary definitions for double entendre double entendre noun
- a word, phrase, etc, that can be interpreted in two ways, esp one having one meaning that is indelicate
- the type of humour that depends upon such ambiguity
Word Origin for double entendre C17: from obsolete French: double meaning Word Origin and History for double entendre
also double-entendre, 1670s, from French (where it was rare and is now obsolete), literally “a twofold meaning,” from entendre (now entente) “to hear, to understand, to mean.” The proper Modern French phrase would be double entente, but the phrase has become established in English in its old form.