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 But these costumes harm those in marginalized communities; making a caricature of vibrant, vital cultures that have shaped our nation. Sheena Louise Roetman, Woman's Day, "There Is a Big Difference Between Cultural Appropriation and Appreciation," 2 Oct. 2020 Chisholm’s Sporty Spice has become almost a caricature—translated into Halloween costumes and dolls wearing her signature tracksuits, gold tooth, and tattoos. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Introducing the Real Mel C," 1 Oct. 2020 But did a caricature as crude as Mildred Ratched need to be reclaimed? Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "“Ratched,” Reviewed: A Confused, Caricaturish Origin Story for the “Cuckoo’s Nest” Villainess," 19 Sep. 2020 His Madden caricature remains legendary to this day. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Michael Vick turns 40. Here's a flashback to some his most electric runs in NFL," 26 June 2020 That style was influenced by the austere finesse of Japanese cooking and known, at its extreme, for tiny portions on huge white plates, a caricature in which the Troisgros brothers never indulged. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Pierre Troisgros, Renowned French Restaurateur, Dies at 92," 25 Sep. 2020 But this caricature of Fitzgerald as frivolous and unfailingly rhapsodic obscures the bracing acidity of his satire and the cool eye of his intelligence. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "The Oracle of Our Unease," 22 Sep. 2020 Previously, the paper’s offices had been firebombed when a caricature of the Prophet Muhammed was run on the cover of a November 2011 issue. Roger J. Kreuz, The Conversation, "Charlie Hebdo shootings served as an extreme example of the history of attacks on satirists," 15 Sep. 2020 The caricature paints a portrait of agonized men photographing their wives in front of brick walls and picturesque houseplants. Jillian Goltzman, Glamour, "The TikTok Husband Knows You're Laughing at Him," 9 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Campaigns usually don’t make bobbleheads specifically because of their potential to caricature the candidates, Parry-Giles says. Washington Post, "How Fauci came to receive the ‘ultimate honor’: His own bobblehead doll," 14 Sep. 2020 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

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

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caricature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 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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