ETYM Latin, by intimation, by hinting, gerund of innuere, innutum, to give a nod, to intimate; pref. in- in, to + -nuere (in comp.) to nod. Related to Nutation.
1. An oblique hint; a remote allusion or reference, usually derogatory to a person or thing not named; an insinuation.
2. An interpretative parenthesis thrown into a legal text to explain an obscure word or words.
Allusion; insinuation, especially unpleasant.
Indirect, unpleasant comment; a sly hint. “i am sure you have brought up your child well—to the best of your ability, certainly.” “i wouldn’t take any books when you go to stay with Alan, if I were you. They have a habit of disappearing there.” The second example is more blatant than the first, but the essence of an innuendo is that it must be capable of an innocent explanation. The speaker must be able to charge the listener with misinterpretation or oversensitivity, if the innuendo is challenged.