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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Memin is a cartoon character from a decades-old and much-beloved Mexican comic book, a caricature of a young, black Mexican boy.’
    • ‘One of the four pictures was an old-fashioned caricature of a bomb - round and black with a burning fuse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His characteristic caricatures of women and other subjects are all woven into a tapestry of intricate design and fused colors.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 1803 Gillray created a prototype caricature of Napoleon which was widely copied by his competitors.’
    • ‘Glover, who has a penchant for playing strange individuals, uses this opportunity not to inhabit a genuine character, but to create a caricature.’
    • ‘Over the decades, many artists and cartoonists have created wicked caricatures of the smug and powerful.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When Sinclair Lewis wrote Babbitt, he succeeded in creating a caricature of success typifying the mind-set of the twenties.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While there is certainly an element of caricature in Geikie's works they are never caricatures per se.’
    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’
      • ‘One remarkable characteristic of this work is that the author does not reduce his subjects to ludicrous caricatures.’
      • ‘Has some modernist thinker sat in a college, chuckling as he invents this ludicrous caricature in order to discredit postmodernism once and for all?’
      • ‘This is the Cornwall of myth, a clichéd caricature version of the county complete with exaggerated eccentrics, loony local lore and mystical happenings.’
      • ‘‘It's just fun, almost a caricature version of rockabilly,’ adds the Gutter Demon's bassist Flipper.’
      • ‘On stage, I am a caricature of my normal personality which probably doesn't bode well.’
      • ‘He feels compelled to present the most ludicrous caricatures of modern science.’


[with object]
  • Make or give a caricature of.

    ‘he was famous enough to be caricatured by Private Eye’
    • ‘Their activities could be caricatured as ‘do-gooding’, which is irrelevant to the real business objective of making a profit.’
    • ‘It was then that cartoonists began caricaturing him as a cockatoo.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is frequently caricatured as a frosty pop intellectual, dry and aloof and uptight.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘An enterprise economy is not, as caricatured by statist propaganda, a devil-take-the-hindmost free-for-all.’
    • ‘Each side caricatured the other in this way - and continues to do so.’
    • ‘Her more nuanced views are frequently caricatured.’
    • ‘The first can easily be caricatured as bull-headed aggression: the second as social work masquerading as security.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 had been caricatured for his right-wing geopolitical and social policies his entire career.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The style and drafting of the Constitution also are unfairly caricatured.’
    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).