noun, plural in·nu·en·dos, in·nu·en·does.
- an indirect intimation about a person or thing, especially of a disparaging or a derogatory nature.
- a parenthetic explanation or specification in a pleading.
- (in an action for slander or libel) the explanation and elucidation of the words alleged to be defamatory.
- the word or expression thus explained.
noun plural -dos or -does
- an indirect or subtle reference, esp one made maliciously or indicating criticism or disapproval; insinuation
- law (in pleading) a word introducing an explanatory phrase, usually in parenthesis
- law (in an action for defamation)
- an explanation of the construction put upon words alleged to be defamatory where the defamatory meaning is not apparent
- the words thus explained
1670s, “oblique hint, indiscreet suggestion,” usually a deprecatory one, from Latin innuendo “by meaning, pointing to,” literally “giving a nod to,” ablative of gerund of innuere “to mean, signify,” literally “to nod to,” from in- “at” + nuere “to nod” (see numinous). Originally a legal phrase (1560s) from Medieval Latin, with the sense of “to wit.” It often introduced the derogatory meaning alleged in libel cases, which influenced its broader meaning. As a verb, from 1706.