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

Other Words from cartoon

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

Synonyms for cartoon


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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Recent Examples on the Web From a previously unpublished cartoon by Thomas Nast, an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly in the late nineteenth century. Thomas Nast, Harper’s Magazine , 20 July 2022 In a show of respect, Lee shared a cartoon of Dokoupil interviewing Allen. CBS News, 20 July 2022 The caption of a recent New Yorker cartoon by Bruce Eric Kaplan captures the chaos of this summer travel season amid a worsening wave of Covid-19, fueled by the highly transmissible BA.5 variant. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, 20 July 2022 One of the most perceptive came in the form of a cartoon posted last week by one of the company’s own software engineers. Wired, 19 July 2022 Lilia, 4, Kamilla, 2, Ramir, 5, and Artem, 6, gathered around the television to watch a cartoon. Globe Staff,, 12 July 2022 The orange sign over one of those competitors, Mansaf in a Cup, boasts a cartoon of a smiling Jordanian man displaying his meal. New York Times, 26 June 2022 In the cartoon his body was visible but not his face. Frank E. Lockwood, Arkansas Online, 2 July 2022 And finally, when Professor X uses his telepathic power to show Doctor Strange what happened to their Stephen Strange on Earth-838, circular ripples emanate from his forehead, just like when the character used his powers in the cartoon. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 May 2022 See More

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.

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for cartoon

Time Traveler

The first known use of cartoon was in 1671

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Dictionary Entries Near cartoon

carton pierre



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Statistics for cartoon

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cartoon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cartoon


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

More from Merriam-Webster on cartoon

Nglish: Translation of cartoon for Spanish Speakers

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


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