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double entendre

[duhb-uh l ahn-tahn-druh, -tahnd; French doo-blahn-tahn-druh] /ˈdʌb əl ɑnˈtɑn drə, -ˈtɑnd; French du blɑ̃ˈtɑ̃ drə/
noun, plural double entendres
[duhb-uh l ahn-tahn-druh z, -tahndz; French doo-blahn-tahn-druh] /ˈdʌb əl ɑnˈtɑn drəz, -ˈtɑndz; French du blɑ̃ˈtɑ̃ drə/ (Show IPA)
1.
a double meaning.
2.
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
obsolete French
1665-1675
1665-75; < obsolete French; see double, intend
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for double entendre
  • The entire cast performs tongue-in-cheek in what amounts to a feature length exercise in double entendre.
  • What remained for inclusion are patients known in the industry by the double entendre as naive subjects.
British Dictionary definitions for double entendre

double entendre

/ˈdʌbəl ɑːnˈtɑːndrə; -ˈtɑːnd; French dubl ɑ̃tɑ̃drə/
noun
1.
a word, phrase, etc, that can be interpreted in two ways, esp one having one meaning that is indelicate
2.
the type of humour that depends upon such ambiguity
Word Origin
C17: from obsolete French: double meaning
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Difficulty index for double entendre

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for double

9
12
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