an indirect reference to something
innuendo - hint
An 'innuendo' is a remark that suggests something sexual or unpleasant without stating it directly. The word typically has negative connotations, being associated with slyness and maliciousness, or something crass or disparaging.
I thought that comedy show was very crass and base. It was just filled with sexual innuendoes.
The politician used rumour and innuendo to slander his opponent in the election. Adopting such underhanded tactics was shameful.
Kevin’s reputation had been damaged by repeated innuendoes about his supposed drug habit, but nobody had ever asked him about it directly.