1. Used to report something said verbatim by someone else. (Used almost exclusively in speech, as the phrase represents a set of quotation marks.) The president said that he, quote unquote, didn't like the way the reporter looked in that dress.
2. Used to indicate that something one just said is untruthful, ironic, or disingenuous. We were, quote unquote, taught by the teaching assistant, but we did most of our learning independently. The, quote unquote, healthy option in this restaurant is a salad filled with bacon and smothered in creamy salad dressing.
a parenthetical expression said before a word or short phrase indicating that the word or phrase would be in quotation marks if used in writing. So I said to her, quote, unquote, it's time we had a little talk.
quote, unquoteBRITISH, AMERICAN or
quote, end quotemainly AMERICAN
COMMON You say quote, unquote to show that a word or phrase you have just used is something that someone else has said. Even though I'm this big, huge superstar quote unquote, I have family problems too. A spokesman said quote, `a certain number', unquote of the men lost their lives that day. The book was given to several school libraries, and in every case a vice principal of the particular school took the book out and then reported it, quote, `lost', end quote. Note: This expression is often used to show that you do not think that the thing said is accurate or true. Compare with in inverted commas.
phr. a parenthetical expression said before a word or short phrase indicating that the word or phrase would be in quotation marks if used in writing. So I said to her, quote, unquote, it’s time we had a little talk.