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.


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.

Other Words from caricature


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

Synonyms for caricature

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some of the differences that Americans and Britons alike enjoy noting rely on a degree of caricature. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, 4 July 2022 In a role that could easily descend into overeager caricature, Brown makes for an outstanding Dede. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 21 June 2022 Over the years, a caricature of Marilyn Bamford became a mainstay of Bamford’s act. David Brusie,, 19 July 2022 There is a version of the character Chase created who is an utter caricature in the hands of a different actor. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 9 July 2022 Unlike most of the other actors on this list, his understated portrayal is an anomaly for a performer that many see as a one-dimensional caricature. Tim Moffatt,, 1 July 2022 Another draw of the fair was artist Greg Steele providing free caricature drawings for the public. Giles Bruce, Chicago Tribune, 28 June 2022 This is one example where Smart and Felix-Hager discussed Deborah’s outfit and whether the addition of a cowboy hat would tip Vance into cartoon or caricature territory. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 20 June 2022 In his novel, Seventy Two Virgins, Johnson’s main character—essentially a caricature of himself—even speculates about politicians wanting to watch their demise. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 6 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As a comedic performer unafraid to caricature herself, Brice laid the groundwork for generations of women who did not fit the traditional mold of demure, leggy female performers. Chloe Malle, Vogue, 5 Apr. 2022 One explanation for her success is Ms. Wu herself, who is difficult to caricature as a radical. Ellen Barry, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2021 Although the contempt Clark and Tripp faced just a few years apart was not identical, Paulson has come to think of the performances as bookends, both about women reduced to caricature by an unrelenting media circus. Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2021 But already, many national Democrats appear eager to elevate the former New York police captain, as gun violence shatters parts of major American cities and Republicans seek to caricature their opponents as naïve about crime. New York Times, 26 July 2021 However his story can no longer be reduced to caricature – and his legacy might just help check our present-day incineration of democracy. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 17 June 2021 People have been using Viola’s AR app, which gives you the option of making a 3D cartoon, Renaissance painting, 2D cartoon or caricature from your photo. Charlie Fink, Forbes, 17 June 2021 That gave Democrats an opening to caricature them as pawns of the president and a party establishment that was using them. NBC news, 6 Jan. 2021 Though Trump attempted to caricature Harris during the campaign as a leftist who would dominate Biden and turn the country into a socialist republic, she is hardly viewed within the party as a movement progressive. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 6 Dec. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of caricature


1712, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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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Time Traveler for caricature

Time Traveler

The first known use of caricature was in 1712

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Dictionary Entries Near caricature



caricature plant

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Statistics for caricature

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Caricature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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