Definition of caricature in English:



  • 1A picture, description, or imitation of a person in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.

    ‘a crude caricature of the Prime Minister’
    mass noun ‘there are elements of caricature in the portrayal of the hero’
    • ‘When Sinclair Lewis wrote Babbitt, he succeeded in creating a caricature of success typifying the mind-set of the twenties.’
    • ‘Over the decades, many artists and cartoonists have created wicked caricatures of the smug and powerful.’
    • ‘The element of cartoonish caricature finds its way into much of this production.’
    • ‘The expressions of the actors are extremely vigorous and exaggerated - close to caricatures.’
    • ‘More than 800 drawings, illustrations, caricatures and paintings by Beshkov have been arranged on the first three floors of the gallery offering a glance at the life and work of this prominent Bulgarian.’
    • ‘He would sit sometimes in the woods from morning until late afternoon, scraping away at fallen branches, creating crude animal caricatures of all shapes and sizes.’
    • ‘I mean look at cave art, these are all very exaggerated caricatures of bison with teeny, weeny heads, huge humps, they don't look like real bison.’
    • ‘Memin is a cartoon character from a decades-old and much-beloved Mexican comic book, a caricature of a young, black Mexican boy.’
    • ‘His characteristic caricatures of women and other subjects are all woven into a tapestry of intricate design and fused colors.’
    • ‘In 1803 Gillray created a prototype caricature of Napoleon which was widely copied by his competitors.’
    • ‘Galluccio has created some memorable caricatures, particularly among the older generation.’
    • ‘Moving on from his Hogarthian images of the early 1990s, the elements of caricature have disappeared, although he remains preoccupied with brutalisation.’
    • ‘He plays the role well without every going over the top or becoming a caricature, and is creates an extremely sympathetic character.’
    • ‘The images are obviously caricatures rather than drawings from life, and the characters' words are likewise not to be mistaken for those of the actual historical actors.’
    • ‘Each of the players, including Watts, will also receive a framed picture featuring caricatures of their squad.’
    • ‘While there is certainly an element of caricature in Geikie's works they are never caricatures per se.’
    • ‘One of the four pictures was an old-fashioned caricature of a bomb - round and black with a burning fuse.’
    • ‘Usually I find him insufferable, but here he had a quieter, naïve quality that made him more real, rather than a caricature or mere comic foil.’
    • ‘Glover, who has a penchant for playing strange individuals, uses this opportunity not to inhabit a genuine character, but to create a caricature.’
    • ‘The aim is to avoid the straw man fallacy - rejecting positions not on the basis of their true characteristics but on the basis of crude or otherwise erroneous caricatures of them.’
    cartoon, distorted drawing, exaggerated drawing, distortion
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    1. 1.1 A ludicrous or grotesque version of someone or something.
      ‘he looked a caricature of his normal self’
      • ‘‘It's just fun, almost a caricature version of rockabilly,’ adds the Gutter Demon's bassist Flipper.’
      • ‘Has some modernist thinker sat in a college, chuckling as he invents this ludicrous caricature in order to discredit postmodernism once and for all?’
      • ‘One remarkable characteristic of this work is that the author does not reduce his subjects to ludicrous caricatures.’
      • ‘This is the Cornwall of myth, a clichéd caricature version of the county complete with exaggerated eccentrics, loony local lore and mystical happenings.’
      • ‘He feels compelled to present the most ludicrous caricatures of modern science.’
      • ‘On stage, I am a caricature of my normal personality which probably doesn't bode well.’


  • Make or give a caricature of.

    ‘he was famous enough to be caricatured by Private Eye’
    • ‘For too long, he was caricatured as the playboy with the pun-friendly surname, an image to which he pandered happily until he realised its downside.’
    • ‘He has been caricatured, as a man more interested in country and western music than opera, and it is true that he has a formidable expertise in the area of popular music.’
    • ‘Essentially he was caricaturing the age of the machine, and the self-importance of some of the people caught up in that age - creating complex inventions that achieved absurdly simple results, while the audience looked on solemnly.’
    • ‘An enterprise economy is not, as caricatured by statist propaganda, a devil-take-the-hindmost free-for-all.’
    • ‘From 1903 Wells devoted much of his energy to the Fabian movement but after falling out with their leaders savagely caricatured them in his novel, The New Machiavelli.’
    • ‘The style and drafting of the Constitution also are unfairly caricatured.’
    • ‘Each side caricatured the other in this way - and continues to do so.’
    • ‘Her more nuanced views are frequently caricatured.’
    • ‘Their activities could be caricatured as ‘do-gooding’, which is irrelevant to the real business objective of making a profit.’
    • ‘What amazes and pleases me is that the organisation listened to this complaint in a spirit of actual intellectual engagement, rather than just ignoring or caricaturing their critics.’
    • ‘He is frequently caricatured as a frosty pop intellectual, dry and aloof and uptight.’
    • ‘The first can easily be caricatured as bull-headed aggression: the second as social work masquerading as security.’
    • ‘Another tale has it that several co-workers are furious at my caricaturing them on one post.’
    • ‘And… I think he's caricaturing the left.’
    • ‘Many other sketches featured similar hard-men, many of them caricaturing the sort of psychopathic gangsters who would become prevalent in British films of the late 1990s.’
    • ‘He had been caricatured for his right-wing geopolitical and social policies his entire career.’
    • ‘It was then that cartoonists began caricaturing him as a cockatoo.’
    • ‘By his own admission, he's been caricatured by his peers as ‘egocentric, dominating, and untalented’.’
    • ‘The burgled British householder used to be caricatured coming down his stairway with poker in hand, while the burglar was cartooned as holding nothing more than a jemmy.’
    • ‘Never one to shy away from polemics, Gould was often criticized by other scientists for his penchant for staking debates in rather extreme terms, and sometimes caricaturing his opponents' positions.’
    parody, satirize, lampoon, mimic, ridicule, mock, make fun of, burlesque
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Mid 18th century: from French, from Italian caricatura, from caricare ‘load, exaggerate’, from Latin carricare (see charge).