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 Among this year’s activities are a caricature artist and a children's magician, ice carving and a bird walk. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's Top 10: Ann Arbor folk fest, Dustin Lynch, Soup Bowl in Royal Oak, 'Jesus Christ Superstar'," 29 Jan. 2020 The party featured a photo booth, where photos were branded with a ZD (for Zooey Deschanel), neon signs that read 'Zooey,' a stage featuring live music, and a caricature artist. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Jonathan Scott Threw Zooey Deschanel an 80’s Themed Extravaganza for Her 40th Birthday," 22 Jan. 2020 Hot on its three leading ladies’ heels is a clown car overflowing with Fox caricatures. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 13 Dec. 2019 Bavarian hats and other sales items as well as caricature artist, Mike Gezze, will also be available. Sam Boyer,, "Community park gets a facelift: Whit & Whimsey," 6 Sep. 2019 The same year, when Ivey was a senior, a picture ran on the Alpha Gamma Delta page in the Auburn yearbook depicting five white women in blackface, wearing shirts with racist caricatures of black people. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "Kay Ivey’s sorority publicly rejects “offensive” blackface skit in email to alums," 3 Sep. 2019 The Auburn Plainsmen reported in February that a 1967 yearbook page for Ivey's sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta, featured a photo of five young white women wearing black masks and shirts with caricatures of black people on the pockets. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey apologized for participating in blackface skit during college," 29 Aug. 2019 Rhetoric aside, both towers come packed with amenities tailored to a caricature of work hard/play hard Millennials. John King,, "Oakland’s new housing towers: So-so on the skyline, but one soars on the street," 6 Jan. 2020 There are less expected influences, too: the playful looks between Tom’s men recall the outrageous caricatures of Thomas Rowlandson, a Georgian-era British cartoonist. B.f. | Kendal, The Economist, "Revisiting Tom of Finland’s sexually explicit oeuvre," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured, by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree. Fox News, "Graham: Democrats are trying to destroy Kavanaugh's life," 17 Sep. 2018 Many interviewees shared their frustration with us at being invisible, caricatured, or misrepresented in the Brexit debate. Nando Sigona, Quartz, "How London’s ‘Europolitan’ families feel about Brexit," 8 Dec. 2019 It’s hard to imagine that Mann, the great ironist, was not aware of the self-caricaturing potential in the adulation lavished on him by American politicians, from Henry Wallace to Harold Ickes. Elizabeth Powers, National Review, "Thomas Mann in America," 5 Dec. 2019 Mormons, or members of the LDS community, have historically been misunderstood, caricatured and hated for the novelty of their faith, often resulting in violence toward the group. Jackson Deakins, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Reporting on the La Mora massacre has harmed efforts to normalize Latter-day Saints," 20 Nov. 2019 Trump is trying to rally Republican voters before a primary election Saturday, testing his ability to weaken a popular Democratic governor who cannot be easily caricatured. Washington Post, "The Latest: Trump calls Little Leaguers to stage at rally," 12 Oct. 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

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caricature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 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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