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

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 Noah is also attached to the new He-Man movie, which is currently in pre-production, and the buzz cut could be in preparation for his role as the iconic cartoon character. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Noah Centineo Shaved His Head," 16 Oct. 2019 Spatola said Bunn helped him break down his feelings, recognize his heartbeat and employ a technique for calming himself that transfers anxiety to a cartoon character. Sarah Vander Schaaff,, "Lots of Americans have a fear of flying. There are ways to overcome the anxiety disorder," 15 Oct. 2019 The tweet in question, which showed a picture of the City full back next to a controversial cartoon character that fronts up Spanish confectionary brand 'Conguitos' alongside the caption 'guess who?', has since been deleted., "Bernardo Silva Charged With Misconduct by FA Over Racist Benjamin Mendy Tweet," 2 Oct. 2019 In 1984, a two-year-old named Joy Griffith climbed onto her grandfather’s reclining sofa chair to watch cartoons. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Republic, "The Tyranny of Economists," 30 Sep. 2019 The hallways were painted with colorful murals of flowers, music notes and cartoon characters. Leila Atassi, cleveland, "An evening at Cuyahoga County’s overflow shelter for homeless families opened my eyes to Cleveland’s quiet crisis," 20 Sep. 2019 At the Red Cross shelter in Anahuac on Thursday afternoon, children watched cartoons on a screen and raced toy cars in a corner. New York Times, "For Some in Texas, Imelda’s Heavy Rain Feels Like Harvey 2.0," 19 Sep. 2019 Rehak said one victim told police she and other children had been made to watch pornographic cartoons. Washington Post, "Former school board candidate is sentenced," 15 Sep. 2019 Sutton, who is about 10 years younger than her brother, testified that Miller was loving and caring as a teenager, often taking her to get ice cream, watching cartoons with her and playing tea party. Monivette Cordeiro,, "Everett Miller ‘wanted to make a statement’ in killings of 2 Kissimmee cops, prosecutor tells jurors," 11 Sep. 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

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for cartoon

The first known use of cartoon was in 1671

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More Definitions for cartoon


How to pronounce cartoon (audio)

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 speed up the process or progress of

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