car·​i·​ca·​ture | \ ˈker-i-kə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce caricature (audio) , -ˌchər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r, ˈka-ri- \

Definition of caricature

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exaggeration by means of often ludicrous distortion of parts or characteristics drew a caricature of the president
2 : a representation especially in literature or art that has the qualities of caricature His performance in the film was a caricature of a hard-boiled detective.
3 : a distortion so gross as to seem like caricature The kangaroo court was a caricature of justice.


caricatured; caricaturing

Definition of caricature (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make or draw a caricature of : represent in caricature the portrait caricatured its subject The comedian caricatured the governor as a pompous know-it-all.

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Other Words from caricature


caricatural \ ˌker-​i-​kə-​ˈchu̇r-​əl How to pronounce caricature (audio) , -​ˈchər-​ , -​ˈtyu̇r-​ , -​ˈtu̇r-​ , ˌka-​ri-​ \ adjective
caricaturist \ ˈker-​i-​kə-​ˌchu̇r-​ist How to pronounce caricature (audio) , -​ˌchər-​ , -​ˌtyu̇r-​ , -​ˌtu̇r-​ , ˈka-​ri-​ \ noun

Synonyms for caricature

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for caricature


caricature, burlesque, parody, travesty mean a comic or grotesque imitation. caricature implies ludicrous exaggeration of the characteristic features of a subject. caricatures of politicians in cartoons burlesque implies mockery especially through giving a serious or lofty subject a frivolous treatment. a nightclub burlesque of a trial in court 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 travesty implies that the subject remains unchanged but that the style is extravagant or absurd. this production is a travesty of the opera

Examples of caricature in a Sentence

Noun An artist was doing caricatures in the park. His performance in the film was a caricature of a hard-boiled detective. The interview made her into a caricature of a struggling artist. Verb The press caricatured him as clumsy and forgetful. caricatured the supervisor's distinctive walk
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His argument was basically that the Chop couldn’t be racist because the chant was a caricature of Native American culture, not an actual part of it. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2021 Jana, on the other hand, instantly turns into a cruel caricature, viciously self-interested, willing to weaponize all the confidences the pair shared to ensure Maya’s ongoing silence. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 1 Sep. 2021 Most notably, his father in the original comics, Fu Manchu, was a caricature of a power-hungry, mystical Asian man. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 3 Sep. 2021 Snapchat had temporary login outage, did not permanently shut down Another part of the backpack that caught users' attention was a caricature at the top of the backpack, which depicts an abstract version of a naked man and woman. Chiara Vercellone, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2021 While Wenwu was written specifically to dismantle the most prominent racial caricature of the mystical, conniving Fu Manchu, the way this trope also affects Asian women is often overlooked. Roslyn Talusan,, 14 Sep. 2021 But at first, the European Union’s efforts resembled the caricature its critics often cite — a bloated bureaucracy getting in its own way. New York Times, 29 July 2021 It’s like the cartoon caricature of the proverbial light bulb flashing over one’s head., 23 July 2021 Young Sheldon, its spinoff which trades on the same caricature, was a top-10 show. Sarah Kurchak, Time, 16 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Although the contempt Clark and Tripp faced just a few years apart was not identical, Paulson has come to think of the performances as bookends, both about women reduced to caricature by an unrelenting media circus. Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2021 But already, many national Democrats appear eager to elevate the former New York police captain, as gun violence shatters parts of major American cities and Republicans seek to caricature their opponents as naïve about crime. New York Times, 26 July 2021 However his story can no longer be reduced to caricature – and his legacy might just help check our present-day incineration of democracy. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 17 June 2021 People have been using Viola’s AR app, which gives you the option of making a 3D cartoon, Renaissance painting, 2D cartoon or caricature from your photo. Charlie Fink, Forbes, 17 June 2021 That gave Democrats an opening to caricature them as pawns of the president and a party establishment that was using them. NBC news, 6 Jan. 2021 Though Trump attempted to caricature Harris during the campaign as a leftist who would dominate Biden and turn the country into a socialist republic, she is hardly viewed within the party as a movement progressive. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 6 Dec. 2020 Biden made the race into a referendum on Trump, and the president tried to caricature Biden as a corrupt, past-his-prime politician who was too weak to hold off the far left wing of his party. Jordan Fabian,, 7 Nov. 2020 Campaigns usually don’t make bobbleheads specifically because of their potential to caricature the candidates, Parry-Giles says. Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caricature.' 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 caricature


1712, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1771, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caricature

Noun and Verb

Italian caricatura, literally, act of loading, from caricare to load, from Late Latin carricare

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Time Traveler for caricature

Time Traveler

The first known use of caricature was in 1712

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Dictionary Entries Near caricature



caricature plant

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Statistics for caricature

Last Updated

27 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caricature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for caricature



English Language Learners Definition of caricature

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a drawing that makes someone look funny or foolish because some part of the person's appearance is exaggerated
: someone or something that is very exaggerated in a funny or foolish way



English Language Learners Definition of caricature (Entry 2 of 2)

: to do a caricature of (someone or something) : to draw or describe (someone or something) in a funny or exaggerated way

More from Merriam-Webster on caricature

Nglish: Translation of caricature for Spanish Speakers

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


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