caricature

noun
car·​i·​ca·​ture | \ ˈker-i-kə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce caricature (audio) , -ˌchər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r, ˈka-ri-\

Definition of caricature

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exaggeration by means of often ludicrous distortion of parts or characteristics drew a caricature of the president
2 : a representation especially in literature or art that has the qualities of caricature His performance in the film was a caricature of a hard-boiled detective.
3 : a distortion so gross as to seem like caricature The kangaroo court was a caricature of justice.

caricature

verb
caricatured; caricaturing

Definition of caricature (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make or draw a caricature of : represent in caricature the portrait caricatured its subject The comedian caricatured the governor as a pompous know-it-all.

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Other Words from caricature

Noun

caricatural \ ˌker-​i-​kə-​ˈchu̇r-​əl How to pronounce caricatural (audio) , -​ˈchər-​ , -​ˈtyu̇r-​ , -​ˈtu̇r-​ , ˌka-​ri-​ \ adjective
caricaturist \ ˈker-​i-​kə-​ˌchu̇r-​ist How to pronounce caricaturist (audio) , -​ˌchər-​ , -​ˌtyu̇r-​ , -​ˌtu̇r-​ , ˈka-​ri-​ \ noun

Synonyms for caricature

Synonyms: Noun

cartoon, farce, joke, mockery, parody, sham, travesty

Synonyms: Verb

burlesque, do, imitate, mimic, mock, parody, send up, spoof, travesty

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Choose the Right Synonym for caricature

Noun

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

Examples of caricature in a Sentence

Noun

An artist was doing caricatures in the park. His performance in the film was a caricature of a hard-boiled detective. The interview made her into a caricature of a struggling artist.

Verb

The press caricatured him as clumsy and forgetful. caricatured the supervisor's distinctive walk
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For years, Democrats have engaged in these sorts of shadow-boxing matches against Mr. Pence, swinging their arms at a hateful caricature that doesn’t exist. Brian Anderson, WSJ, "Buttigieg Battles Mike Pence, or So He Imagines," 25 Apr. 2019 Red lipstick has always made feel extremely self-conscious, like a life-size caricature. Talia Abbas, SELF, "13 Things I Learned When I Wore Red Lipstick Every Day for a Week," 17 Oct. 2018 Dumb, desperate money — so often the caricature of foreign investors trying to make a buck in the U.S. — this is not. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "In the Tesla drama, Saudi Arabia reminds Silicon Valley of its weight," 13 Aug. 2018 His pose resembles the canonical caricature of Jim Crow. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Donald Glover Is Watching You Watch Him," 7 May 2018 There is a borderline racist/homophobic caricature of a gay Indian wedding planner. Constance Grady, Vox, "Netflix’s A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding is straight trash. But it’s cozy trash.," 30 Nov. 2018 Years later, in 2015, she was photographed while playing a caricature of herself in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Why I Love the New Kate Moss So Much Better Than the ’90s Waif," 25 Jan. 2019 The museum has been open since 1994 and has more than 12,000 items related to racist caricatures — the largest collection of its kind, according to Pilgrim. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Prada pulled a collection of figurines that drew comparisons to anti-black caricatures," 14 Dec. 2018 The surrounding players are exaggerated, one-note caricatures; Barrie’s wife is a superficial shrew, her lover is a fop, the grandmother is stern and matronly, the promoter has a perpetual glint in his eye and the actors are campy. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Circus scene is the highlight of a bland 'Neverland'," 21 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

What is bad is the stealing, laziness, and caricaturing that’s become rampant within creative industries. Connie Wang, refinery29.com, "I’ve Written About Cultural Appropriation For 10 Years. Here’s What I Got Wrong.," 24 May 2018 You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate, rather than hung from a tree. Fox News, "Reps. Meadows, Jordan call on Rosenstein to testify," 27 Sep. 2018 Photo: Getty More broadly, the party increasingly is identified with policy proposals that are easy for Republicans to caricature as left-wing extremism. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Democrats Face Great Opportunity—and High Peril," 11 Feb. 2019 At the same time, local newspapers are dying out and political discourse is becoming increasingly nationalized, which means most issues are abstract and dominated by tribal allegiance and caricatured right-left narratives. Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018 Netflix Each story has the feeling of a yarn that was based in some reality but has grown and shifted and become more acutely caricatured as people retold it. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is an old West folk tale, with a signature Coen brothers twist," 15 Oct. 2018 In Bleak House, Dickens caricatured this kind of humanitarianism in the character of Mrs. Jellyby, who obsessively advocates for a faraway population but neglects to care for her own kids. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "America’s “Poster Child” Syndrome," 20 June 2018 In the West, Mr. Kim, 34, has often been caricatured as a chubby child toying with nuclear missiles. New York Times, "Kim Jong-un’s Image Shift: From Nuclear Madman to Skillful Leader," 6 June 2018 You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree. Fox News, "Sekulow: Kavanaugh will be a brilliant Supreme Court justice," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caricature.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caricature

Noun

1712, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1771, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caricature

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for caricature

Last Updated

20 May 2019

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Time Traveler for caricature

The first known use of caricature was in 1712

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More Definitions for caricature

caricature

noun

English Language Learners Definition of caricature

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

caricature

verb

English Language Learners Definition of caricature (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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