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noun car·i·ca·ture \ˈker-i-kə-ˌchr, -ˌchər, -ˌtyr, -ˌtr, -ˈka-ri-\

: 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

Full Definition of CARICATURE

:  exaggeration by means of often ludicrous distortion of parts or characteristics
:  a representation especially in literature or art that has the qualities of caricature
:  a distortion so gross as to seem like caricature
car·i·ca·tur·al \ˌker-i-kə-ˈchr-əl, -ˈchər-, -ˈtyr-, -ˈtr-, -ˌka-ri-\ adjective
car·i·ca·tur·ist \ˈker-i-kə-ˌchr-ist, -ˌchər-, -ˌtyr-, -ˌtr-, -ˈka-ri-\ noun

Examples of CARICATURE

  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.


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>.

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody



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


Full Definition of CARICATURE

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

Examples of CARICATURE

  1. The press caricatured him as clumsy and forgetful.
  2. <caricatured the supervisor's distinctive walk>

First Known Use of CARICATURE

circa 1771

Other Fine Arts Terms

Gothic, baroque, bas-relief, limn, oeuvre, pastiche, rococo, sfumato


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