noun, often attributive
car·​toon | \ kär-ˈtün How to pronounce cartoon (audio) \

Definition of cartoon

1 : a preparatory design, drawing, or painting (as for a fresco)
2a : a drawing intended as satire, caricature, or humor a political cartoon
4 : a ludicrously simplistic, unrealistic, or one-dimensional portrayal or version the film's villain is an entertaining cartoon

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Other Words from cartoon

cartoon verb
cartooning \ kär-​ˈtü-​niŋ How to pronounce cartooning (audio) \ noun
cartoonish \ kär-​ˈtü-​nish How to pronounce cartoonish (audio) \ adjective
cartoonishly adverb
cartoonist \ kär-​ˈtü-​nist How to pronounce cartoonist (audio) \ noun
cartoonlike \ kär-​ˈtün-​ˌlīk How to pronounce cartoonlike (audio) \ adjective
cartoony \ kär-​ˈtü-​nē How to pronounce cartoony (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for cartoon


delineation, drawing, sketch

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Examples of cartoon in a Sentence

She enjoys reading the cartoons in the Sunday paper. The kids are watching cartoons.

Recent Examples on the Web

Stream full episodes of the classic caper cartoon on Boomerang. Michelle Krupa, CNN, "Start your Monday smart: Congress, Apple, 9/11, Felicity Huffman, US Open, NFL," 8 Sep. 2019 But those drawbacks are somewhat compensated for by a series of arresting set-pieces, each one taking us to a spectacular Far East location not yet visited by this kind of high-powered Hollywood cartoon. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Abominable': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 7 Sep. 2019 Tipirneni has also produced a series of cartoons explaining the science behind Morphic. Jonathan Saltzman,, "Executive draws on his career experience (literally, for cartoons)," 28 Aug. 2019 Guests will enter the El Capitoon Theater for the premiere of the newest Minnie and Mickey cartoon. Scott Craven, azcentral, "From Epcot's update to a Spider-Man ride, everything Disney revealed about its parks at D23," 26 Aug. 2019 This resemblance was entirely unintentional, but given that association, the Edmonton Journal apologizes for the publication of the cartoon. Sam Sokol,, "Canadian paper apologizes after running cartoon seen as anti-Semitic," 14 Aug. 2019 These queries are the ones circling pop music’s freshest new face, Peppa Pig, the eponymous star of the educational cartoon that’s aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, produced by the TV and film company Entertainment One. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "How Peppa Pig became an LGBTQ icon," 29 July 2019 Andy Paley, a composer and songwriter who’s worked with Beach Boys, Phil Spector and Madonna, got a taste of cartoons as the songwriter for The Ren & Stimpy Show in 1993. Bianca Gracie, Billboard, "'SpongeBob SquarePants' Voice Actor Tom Kenny, Songwriter Andy Paley & More Reflect on 20 Years of Laughter & Music," 23 July 2019 Brownstone Productions are working together on an adult reboot of the classic primetime cartoon The Flintstones. Christian Holub,, "An adult reboot of The Flintstones is in the works," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cartoon.' 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 cartoon

1671, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cartoon

Italian cartone pasteboard, cartoon, augmentative of carta leaf of paper — more at card

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Statistics for cartoon

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for cartoon

The first known use of cartoon was in 1671

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More Definitions for cartoon



English Language Learners Definition of cartoon

: a drawing in a newspaper or magazine intended as a humorous comment on something
: a series of drawings that tell a story
: a film or television show made by photographing a series of drawings : an animated film or television show


car·​toon | \ kär-ˈtün How to pronounce cartoon (audio) \

Kids Definition of cartoon

1 : a movie or television program made by photographing a series of drawings
2 : a drawing (as in a newspaper) making people or objects look funny or foolish

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Comments on cartoon

What made you want to look up cartoon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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