car·​touche kär-ˈtüsh How to pronounce cartouche (audio)
variants or less commonly cartouch
: a gun cartridge with a paper case
: an ornate or ornamental frame
: an oval or oblong figure (as on ancient Egyptian monuments) enclosing a sovereign's name

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The new owner can choose to replace this with a cartouche bearing their name or initials. Cait Bazemore, Robb Report, 5 Nov. 2022 Now the lower part of the door was uncovered for the first time—and there on the door were seal impressions showing a basket, scarab beetle and the sun’s disk, the cartouche of none other than Tutankhamun. Jo Marchant, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Nov. 2022 Unlike Ptolemy, Cleopatra and other non-Egyptian names deciphered to date, the name Ramses was Egyptian—a fact that Young believed precluded his cartouche from containing phonetic hieroglyphs. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Sep. 2022 In 1822, Champollion studied a cartouche copied from Abu Simbel, a religious site established by the pharaoh Ramses II, or Ramesses. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Sep. 2022 The Abu Simbel cartouche contained four symbols, one of which was repeated at the end. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Sep. 2022 It is decorated with marquetry ribbons, foliage and festoons, and flanking Jasperware plaques set in a rectangle cartouche. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 28 June 2022 Wagner’s cartouche — an ornate plaster casting that was one of three in the Fox — is the size of the front of a Volkswagen Beetle. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Nov. 2021 The bottle’s label has an appealing throwback design, with a version of the cartouche that originally appeared on age statement Jack a century ago. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 17 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cartouche.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle French cartouche, from Italian cartoccio, from carta

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cartouche was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near cartouche

Cite this Entry

“Cartouche.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on cartouche

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