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car·​i·​ca·​ture ˈker-i-kə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce caricature (audio)
: exaggeration by means of often ludicrous distortion of parts or characteristics
drew a caricature of the president
: 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.
: a distortion so gross as to seem like caricature
The kangaroo court was a caricature of justice.
ˌker-i-kə-ˈchu̇r-əl How to pronounce caricature (audio)
ˈker-i-kə-ˌchu̇r-ist How to pronounce caricature (audio)


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caricatured; caricaturing

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.
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
This sounded almost like a caricature of a conservative Catholic church, but Tucker saw it, like the school, as a place for her family. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 Because Cooper is not a Jew himself, dissenters opined, accentuating his schnoz was an act of crude caricature. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 2 Sep. 2023 Certainly, more so than in the past, people have drawn ideological caricatures of various brands and make decisions based on that. David Marchese David Marchese Photograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 31 Aug. 2023 To some, Cooper’s nose in the trailer seemed like the kind of outsized caricature that has been a regular feature of Jewish portrayals throughout film history. Jake Coyle, Fortune, 17 Aug. 2023 And every crowd has their caricatures and kind of gets kind of represented by the kind of the goofiness of that. Ben Flanagan |, al, 20 July 2023 However, instead of analyzing Richard’s psyche, these choices allow both figures to become caricatures driven solely by greed and immorality. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 10 Aug. 2023 Other than the quintessential high school bully Biff, who’s like Shrek’s evil twin, the villains in the Back to the Future movie were Libyan terrorists, depicted as Middle Eastern caricatures in a VW van who seek revenge on Doc for bilking them out of their plutonium. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 9 Aug. 2023 In contrast to his mentor, Castelli, he has been seen as more of a collector’s dealer than an artist’s dealer—a view that Gagosian considers a caricature. Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, 24 July 2023
Moreover, what do the businessmen caricatured in the film think? Brooks Barnes, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2023 With no facts to support this assertion, Kenyon resorts to caricature. Olivia Gentile,, 28 July 2023 There’ll be festival fun including games, stilt walkers and caricature artists, plus food trucks and pop-up bars throughout the park. Norma Cavazos, Dallas News, 28 June 2023 So inside and outside the establishment, Altman perfectly caricatures the ultimate national power struggle. Armond White, National Review, 28 June 2023 The human body, dissected and caricatured, is the basis of Yashnyk’s work. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 9 June 2023 Over the phone, Filliozat rejected the idea that she was driven by greed and accused Goldman of caricaturing her work. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, 22 June 2023 Free For more information, visit Art & Chalk Fest in West Bend What: Chalk artists creating large-scale works of chalk art, a glass-blowing demo in a mobile hot shop, caricature artists and demonstrations of clay sculpting. Cathy Kozlowicz, Journal Sentinel, 16 June 2023 Valentan said that in addition to empowering workers such as Rodríguez, Radio Jornalera’s mission is to erase common prejudices against day laborers, who often are caricatured as low-skilled, unreliable migrants illegally in the United States. Selene Rivera, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'caricature.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Italian caricatura, literally, act of loading, from caricare to load, from Late Latin carricare

First Known Use


1712, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1771, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of caricature was in 1712

Dictionary Entries Near caricature

Cite this Entry

“Caricature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
car·​i·​ca·​ture ˈkar-i-kə-ˌchu̇(ə)r How to pronounce caricature (audio)
: exaggeration of the actions, parts, or features of someone or something usually for comic or satirical effect
: something (as a drawing) produced by using caricature
: something that seems like a caricature


2 of 2 verb
caricatured; caricaturing
: to make or draw a caricature of

More from Merriam-Webster on caricature

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