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

Examples of cartouche in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Elsewhere are a dining room and a gourmet kitchen with detailed plaster moldings and a flamboyant cartouche featured above its stainless-steel oven. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 28 June 2024 After describing the mummification process in recondite detail—not only why the brain was removed through the nose but how exactly natron dried out the rest of the body—the child drew an elaborate cartouche with the hieroglyphs used to spell my name. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 7 Feb. 2022 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cartouche.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 18 Jul. 2024.

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