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noun car·i·ca·ture \ˈker-i-kə-ˌchu̇r, -ˌchər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r, -ˈka-ri-\

Simple Definition of caricature

  • : a drawing that makes someone look funny or foolish because some part of the person's appearance is exaggerated

  • : someone or something that is very exaggerated in a funny or foolish way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of caricature

  1. 1 :  exaggeration by means of often ludicrous distortion of parts or characteristics

  2. 2 :  a representation especially in literature or art that has the qualities of caricature

  3. 3 :  a distortion so gross as to seem like caricature

caricatural play \ˌker-i-kə-ˈchu̇r-əl, -ˈchər-, -ˈtyu̇r-, -ˈtu̇r-, -ˌka-ri-\ adjective
caricaturist play \ˈker-i-kə-ˌchu̇r-ist, -ˌchər-, -ˌtyu̇r-, -ˌtu̇r-, -ˈka-ri-\ noun

Examples of caricature in a sentence

  1. An artist was doing caricatures in the park.

  2. His performance in the film was a caricature of a hard-boiled detective.

  3. The interview made her into a caricature of a struggling artist.

Origin of caricature

Italian caricatura, literally, act of loading, from caricare to load, from Late Latin carricare

First Known Use: 1712

Synonym Discussion of caricature

caricature, burlesque, parody, travesty mean a comic or grotesque imitation. caricature implies ludicrous exaggeration of the characteristic features of a subject <caricatures of politicians in cartoons>. burlesque implies mockery especially through giving a serious or lofty subject a frivolous treatment <a nightclub burlesque of a trial in court>. parody applies especially to treatment of a trivial or ludicrous subject in the exactly imitated style of a well-known author or work <a witty parody of a popular novel>. travesty implies that the subject remains unchanged but that the style is extravagant or absurd <this production is a travesty of the opera>.



verb, car·i·ca·ture

Simple Definition of caricature

  • : to do a caricature of (someone or something) : to draw or describe (someone or something) in a funny or exaggerated way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of caricature


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make or draw a caricature of :  represent in caricature <the portrait caricatured its subject>

Examples of caricature in a sentence

  1. The press caricatured him as clumsy and forgetful.

  2. <caricatured the supervisor's distinctive walk>

Circa 1771

First Known Use of caricature

circa 1771

Other Fine Arts Terms

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up caricature? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

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