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.

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Other Words from caricature


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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The mascot on early boxes was known as Rastus, a caricature of a jolly, former slave often featured in minstrel shows. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Eskimo Pie, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben's and Cream of Wheat are changing. Are the Washington Redskins next?," 19 June 2020 The highly plausible caricature of Donald Trump in John Bolton’s book is also completely unsurprising. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Bolton’s Trump Is Also the Voter’s Trump," 19 June 2020 Scholars say White's image replaced Cream of Wheat's original black mascot, Rastus, a racist caricature of black Americans that commonly appeared in blackface minstrel shows from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chauncey Alcorn Cnn Business, CNN, "Cream of Wheat is reviewing its black mascot after Aunt Jemima and others acknowledged their racist roots," 18 June 2020 That thinking is what led renowned artist Betye Saar in 1972, to re-envision the minstrel caricature for what is now her most iconic work. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Aunt Jemima’s Name And Likeness To Be Removed From Product Packaging," 17 June 2020 Glennon’s victim statement was heard through audio in the episode while showing a courtroom caricature of him and Portwood. Natalie Stone,, "Teen Mom OG's Amber Portwood Says She's 'Gained 10 Lbs.' and Is 'Feeling a Lot Better!'," 15 June 2020 Alaric can never emerge as a fully three-dimensional figure, but in Boin’s hands he is lifted convincingly from the realm of brutish caricature. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, "The Man Who Sacked Rome," 9 June 2020 All of a sudden the caricatures of Russia have sprung up in our daily lives, triggered not by a Communist menace but by potentially deadly strings of RNA. Steven Levy, Wired, "Life in Pandemic and Echoes of Soviet Russia," 10 Apr. 2020 President Trump's personal attorney in pumpkin caricature weighs in at 277 pounds, while his associate punches in at 108 pounds of terror. CNN, "Every year she turns giant pumpkins into celebs. This year, she chose Rudy Giuliani and the Joker," 26 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In 2015, masked gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper that had caricatured the Prophet Mohammad, methodically killing 12 people, including the editor, before escaping in a car., "This day in history," 6 Jan. 2020 Pelosi, who has served in Congress for more than three decades, has long been caricatured as a San Francisco limousine liberal with extreme views. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘Pelosi’ tracks the career of a powerful, driven politician," 11 May 2020 Democrats’ efforts to caricature Mr. Trump as anti-Hispanic have had some success and the president has helped fuel the charge. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Trump’s Pitch to Puerto Rican Voters," 9 Feb. 2020 But Biden is not the across-the-board liberal hawk that he is sometimes caricatured as. Noah Millman, TheWeek, "Biden and Sanders yearn for a bygone world," 3 Mar. 2020 Too often, businesses are caricatured as rapacious predators of Earth’s bounty. The Economist, "Can business tread more lightly on the planet?," 17 Oct. 2019 The National Rifle Association caricatured Bloomberg as an octopus on the cover of its magazine in 2007. Washington Post, "Bloomberg as mayor: A New York that sparkled, and chafed," 27 Nov. 2019 The youth styles of the day were immortalized, and sometimes caricatured, in the art of illustrators like J. C. Leyendecker (of ), Ralph Barton (who illustrated Anita Loos’s book ), and John Held, Jr. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "What Fall 2020’s New Man Has In Common with the “Jellybean” of the 1920s," 21 Jan. 2020 Autism is not some monstrous fate When it isn’t being caricatured in shows largely produced by and for non-autistic people, like The Good Doctor and The Big Bang Theory, autism is often characterized as a horrible way to live. Sarah Kurchak, Vox, "Fake autism treatments show the lengths parents will go to “cure” their kids," 13 Aug. 2019

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


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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Statistics for caricature

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caricature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for caricature


How to pronounce caricature (audio)

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



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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