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

Bruce Tinsley’s caricatures of public officials, particularly Democrats, are too far over the line for the comics page. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: ‘Mallard Fillmore’ is too hateful for comics page," 15 Sep. 2019 While the lawyers in the book are caricatures, their more banal counterparts – lawyers like me who once routinely inserted confidentiality provisions into settlement agreements – are no less complicit. Elizabeth C. Tippett, The Conversation, "Weinstein may be a monster, but the lawyers who enabled him are the real villains in #MeToo takedown ‘She Said’," 12 Sep. 2019 Black characters of this era, however tended to be secondary at best, and too often veered toward blaxploitation caricatures, living in the ghetto and speaking a version of jive as envisioned by their mostly white creators. Oliver Staley, Quartz, "Storm is comics’ overlooked groundbreaking superhero," 11 Sep. 2019 The event will include pet caricatures, dog treats from Three Dog Bakery, and goodies for owners, as well. cleveland.com, "Beachwood’s anticipated dog park, Barkwood, set for Sept. 22 grand opening," 7 Sep. 2019 The caricature is a blue-jeans wearing, Harley Davidson riding, white man who has a job his dad and granddad once had. Carmen Rojas, Quartz at Work, "The problem with making “white” synonymous with “America’s working class”," 2 Sep. 2019 Though Barbara is the sympathetic center of the story, she is not sanctified, nor is Ron merely a caricature of thuggishness. New York Times, "Review: Surviving a Family From Hell in ‘We’re Only Alive’," 27 June 2019 The caricature that has emerged of Johnson over the years is something of an unthinking brute, a byproduct of his physical gifts. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Dustin Johnson Opts for Poise Over Power at U.S. Open," 15 June 2018 The caricatures in the series are great, the voices are pretty good, and the jokes are OK. San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Cartoon President’ timely and too much," 6 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Burns wisely foregrounds bluegrass music, which is too often caricatured as hidebound and relegated to a single chapter in genre histories. David Cantwell, The New Yorker, "Ken Burns’s Delightful “Country Music” Gets the Big Things Mostly Right," 15 Sep. 2019 The occasion of the league's 100th anniversary marks as good a time as any to consider—and reconsider—a man too often caricatured as the NFL's cartoon villain. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "How the Influence of Al Davis Shaped the Modern NFL," 27 Aug. 2019 In the podcast clips, which have been removed from its YouTube channel, Gillis used a slur in referring to Chinese people and caricatured the accent of a Chinese person speaking English. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, "'SNL' alum Rob Schneider, actress Sandra Oh weigh in on Shane Gillis' firing," 17 Sep. 2019 Parscale has assumed the role of Trump’s troll-in-chief, backing his boss’s boasts and false claims; generating ads playing to voters’ fears; twisting the knife on the president’s opponents; and caricaturing Democrats’ policies. Peter Elkind, ProPublica, "The Myths of the “Genius” Behind Trump’s Reelection Campaign," 11 Sep. 2019 Culturally, Downriver gets a bad rap, often acting as a punchline for jokes about eating muskrat, caricatured as Detroit's backwater. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "These are 9 definitive Downriver dining destinations," 6 Sep. 2019 Jones makes the Chief Factor a pompous twit without resorting to caricature, while Shepherd is similarly measured in conveying the Captain's sense of smart superiority. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'First Cow': Film Review | Telluride 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 While the rest of the country may caricature California as a bastion of out-of-touch liberals, the Central Valley defies that stereotype. Melanie Mason, latimes.com, "California’s long-overlooked Central Valley holds new allure for 2020 candidates," 4 June 2019 And that’s what makes The Loudest Voice–with its holistic, relatively understated depiction of a personality prone to caricature–effective. Judy Berman, Time, "The Loudest Voice Shows Us What We Already Knew. That’s Not Redundant—It’s Exactly What We Need," 27 June 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

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

7 Oct 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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