double-entendre

double entendre

[duhb-uhl ahn-tahn-druh, -tahnd; French doo-blahn-tahn-druh]
noun, plural double entendres [duhb-uhl ahn-tahn-druhz, -tahndz; French doo-blahn-tahn-druh] .
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:
1665–75; < obsolete French; see double, intend

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
double entendre (ˈdʌbəl ɑːnˈtɑːndrə, -ˈtɑːnd, French dubl ɑ̃tɑ̃drə)
 
n
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
 
[C17: from obsolete French: double meaning]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

double entendre
also double-entendre, 1670s, from Fr. (where it was rare and is now obsolete), lit. "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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
double-entendre [(dub-uhl-ahn-tahn-druh; dooh-blahnn-tahnn-druh)]

A word or expression that has two different meanings (in French, double-entendre means “double meaning”), one of which is often bawdy or indelicate. A double-entendre is found in this sentence: “A nudist camp is simply a place where men and women meet to air their differences.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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