caricature 1 of 2

1
as in parody
a poor, insincere, or insulting imitation of something that TV network's reporting is a mere caricature of real journalism

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2
as in spoof
a work that imitates and exaggerates another work for comic effect the artist creates caricatures of famous paintings by replacing humans with cats

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3

caricature

2 of 2

verb

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How does the noun caricature differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of caricature are burlesque, parody, and travesty. While all these words mean "a comic or grotesque imitation," caricature implies ludicrous exaggeration of the characteristic features of a subject.

caricatures of politicians in cartoons

When might burlesque be a better fit than caricature?

The meanings of burlesque and caricature largely overlap; however, burlesque implies mockery especially through giving a serious or lofty subject a frivolous treatment.

a nightclub burlesque of a trial in court

In what contexts can parody take the place of caricature?

The synonyms parody and caricature are sometimes interchangeable, but parody applies especially to treatment of a trivial or ludicrous subject in the exactly imitated style of a well-known author or work.

a witty parody of a popular novel

When is travesty a more appropriate choice than caricature?

The words travesty and caricature are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, travesty implies that the subject remains unchanged but that the style is extravagant or absurd.

this production is a travesty of the opera

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Cite this Entry

“Caricature.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/caricature. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

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