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 The standouts are probably Lee and Bratt as power-mongers who flirt with ethnic caricature. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Mar. 2022 These left-wing trends will only grow in popularity if conservatives embody the caricature progressives would draw of them by declining to recognize the immorality of racial hatreds in all places and times, including Congress in 2021. W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 10 Mar. 2022 In response to some of the local activism, Pinkney created Buford White, a redneck caricature who starred on his YouTube channel. Scott Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Mar. 2022 In response to some of the local activism, Pinkney created Buford White, a redneck caricature who starred on his YouTube channel. Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2022 First, Putin’s idea about the past of Russian-Ukrainian interaction is a bizarre Russian-nationalist caricature. Tarik Cyril Amar, Time, 4 Mar. 2022 San Francisco’s myriad social problems have attracted a national and often harsh spotlight, though attempts to paint the city as a hellish, chaotic place can border on caricature, some said. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Feb. 2022 The Black lawn jockey is a statue that depicts a blackface caricature in horse-racing attire holding a lamp or a hitching ring. Emiliano Tahui Gómez, USA TODAY, 18 Feb. 2022 The figuration in the new paintings, though still influenced by comics and cartoons, has mostly left behind caricature for something closer to a recognizably psychological realism. Garth Greenwell, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 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

30 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Caricature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of caricature for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of caricature for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about caricature


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