Definition of cartoon in English:

cartoon

noun

  • 1A simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in a humorously exaggerated way, especially a satirical one in a newspaper or magazine.

    ‘the minister faced a welter of hostile headlines and mocking cartoons’
    • ‘Disillusioned with the politics and antics of politicians, Vijayan ventured into dark corners of history to find subjects for his cartoons.’
    • ‘There were press attacks and vicious satirical cartoons featuring Queen Victoria throughout the middle of the 19th century.’
    • ‘Newspaper cartoons are popular and important for social critique.’
    • ‘Mauldin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1945, and the United Features Syndicate distributed his cartoons to hundreds of newspapers.’
    • ‘The books - Europe since Versailles and Europe at War - date back to 1940 and 1941 and feature political cartoons by Sir David Low.’
    • ‘Yet in today's multimedia world, satire has entered the mainstream via theatre, television, music, newspaper cartoons, radio, and the internet.’
    • ‘Did you look at other cartoons in the magazine for inspiration?’
    • ‘Encouraged by his comrades' response to his drawings, he eventually sent one of his cartoons to the Bystander magazine, and a legend was born.’
    • ‘When one becomes the subject of cartoons, it is time to go.’
    • ‘It's an addition to the Comics page, devoted not to an artist, or a strip, or a subject, but just to a year: the newspaper cartoons of 1907.’
    • ‘The cartoon featured a confused looking gentleman looking at a billboard advertising a horror film.’
    • ‘As a child Cullen drew cartoons for the local newspaper, but since then he's painted everything from criminals to the devil.’
    • ‘He also turned to satirical cartoons and illustrations for newspapers and magazines.’
    • ‘Each week we will feature one of her cartoons, which provide amusing insights into Southampton's rich past.’
    • ‘John Bull And Patriotism is the first in a series of six exhibitions featuring cartoons by James Gilray.’
    • ‘While in Greece in 1997 I noticed a newspaper cartoon by Kosta Mitropoulou.’
    • ‘A cartoon in an Indonesian newspaper summed up what words and pictures struggled to convey.’
    • ‘I don't even pay attention to political cartoons in newspapers.’
    • ‘Knight began sending his cartoons out to local newspapers and magazines, then to publications across the country.’
    • ‘He started trying to draw cartoons again, satirical sketches of popular figures (a talent which he'd had since a boy).’
    caricature, parody, lampoon, satire, travesty
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1also cartoon strip A narrative sequence of humorous drawings in a comic, magazine, or newspaper, usually with captions.
      ‘a Peanuts cartoon by Charles Schulz’
      • ‘An earlier post mentioned this long-lost cartoon from the pre-internet days, and Mudville readers were quick to respond to my request for a copy.’
      • ‘In the late 1980s he met the Canadian publisher of a little magazine Casual Casual, and the first Jim Bones cartoon strip appeared in print.’
      • ‘The book was Raymond Briggs' tragi-comic cartoon strip When the Wind Blows, given to me as a Christmas present by my grandfather.’
      • ‘Pekar's endearingly pathetic life is given an new perspective when he translates his desultory day-today experiences into the basis for a cartoon strip.’
      • ‘My current favorite cartoon strip is ‘Get Fuzzy’ and my all time favorite is ‘Calvin and Hobbes.’’
      • ‘Using brightly coloured cards as a tool kit about gender imbalance and a cartoon strip - with a moral of course - the idea is to make it simple so that ordinary people can partner in the change.’
      • ‘The Institute of Physics in London have decided to celebrate his birth 100 years ago with a cartoon strip.’
      • ‘However, cartoons and comic strips have been straitjacketed into either mythology, fables or other books brought out only for popular consumption.’
      • ‘Since last night I have been working on doing a cartoon strip for the page, just a one-off thing about finding a job.’
      • ‘Thanks to Brad for sending this Day by Day cartoon along.’
      • ‘A one-page cartoon strip which Lennon drew for the Daily Howl, a comic he drew while at school, was expected to fetch £13 - £20,000 but went for £53,400.’
      • ‘Don't miss today's Day by Day cartoon from Chris Muir.’
      • ‘They will appear in a cartoon strip talking through speech bubbles.’
      • ‘But Roy would take a single frame from a cartoon or comic strip and turn it into an entire painting.’
      • ‘Think of the old Far Side cartoon with a dog listening to his master.’
      • ‘Popeye made his first appearance as a supporting character in a cartoon strip in Hearst's New York newspapers.’
      • ‘With his square jaw and sunken eyes, he looked like something out a cartoon strip, a mayor of Gotham who thought he was Superman.’
      • ‘Another specialist in ephemera of this kind and scenography was Baccio del Bianco, whose extraordinary caricatures, for which he was particularly celebrated, are an early form of the cartoon strip.’
      • ‘I'm hoping that my cartoon strip will inspire readers both young and not-so-young to find out more about the history on their doorstep.’
      • ‘Chris Muir's newest Day by Day cartoon says it all.’
      • ‘Ostriches, of course, do not bury their heads in the sand except in cartoons and comic strips.’
      • ‘But today my paper ran this cartoon, which I found… instructive.’
      • ‘In one cartoon, Goofy stays home with the kid and tries to run the household - with hilarious results!’
      • ‘But I moved from the realm of cartoons and comic strips to really studying a lot more expressive art.’
      • ‘Bob's other credits include appearing with Michael Parkinson in Australia, and having his own cartoon strip published in the Daily Express.’
      • ‘The scope for interesting and humorous plots for each cartoon strip seemed (at the time) to be endless.’
      • ‘This image is from Cox and Forkum's cartoon from yesterday.’
      • ‘Four years later, Bill joined the Chicago Sun-Times and drew the most famous cartoon of the 1960s.’
      • ‘The second ‘If you can't be right, be wrong at the top of your voice’ is from a cartoon strip.’
      • ‘You may wonder how a cartoon strip about three potheads could survive the 1960s, let alone the 80s.’
      • ‘I wrote a cartoon strip once that ran for a few years.’
      • ‘As you can see, her column this week has been replaced by a cuddly little cartoon: funny but not too highbrow.’
      • ‘The Telegraph reports today that the cartoon strip Alex is being turned into a 90 minute West End Show.’
      • ‘Other rooms have editorial and panel cartoons, comic strips, texts for studio photo books, and many public addresses and lectures.’
      • ‘The commentator compared it to the cartoon strip of a couple who explain to a marriage counsellor that they don't talk any more as ‘we figured out that's when we have all our fights.’’
      comic strip, cartoon strip, comic, graphic novel
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A simplified or exaggerated version or interpretation of something.
      as modifier ‘the parents aren't the uncaring and cold cartoon villains that often litter these dramas’
      • ‘We're often reduced to cartoon versions of ourselves, but that's inevitable.’
      • ‘The cartoon version of relativism he is describing does not pervade society, because it does not exist at all.’
      • ‘We now know it will sacrifice talent and demolish the dignity of a loyal employee for a cartoon version of moral purity.’
      • ‘His first hurdle as chairman will be to erase the cartoon image of him that is seared into the minds of most of the population.’
      • ‘He isn't really so much a provocateur as he is a sort of freelance imbecile, a flesh and blood cartoon.’
      • ‘I know my opponent would like to run against a mythical, big spending, government candidate, a cartoon image from campaigns past.’
      • ‘Theirs is a cartoon version of the conflict.’
      • ‘It's so busy attempting to draw comparisons to male stereotypes that it can hardly avoid making its female characters into cartoons as well.’
      • ‘My own dysfunctional family were out, so I had to replace them with a cartoon version.’
      • ‘All in all, his relentless focus on the last several years produces a cartoon version of Lubavitcher history.’
      • ‘He is like a cartoon stereotype representing the worst side of the political culture.’
      • ‘He can be viewed as the representative of this cartoon version of the public.’
      • ‘I feel I've only met the cartoon version and it must be hard being the person, always misunderstood.’
  • 2A film using animation techniques to photograph a sequence of drawings rather than real people or objects.

    ‘we watched Yogi Bear cartoons on TV’
    as modifier ‘cartoon characters’
    ‘a cartoon show’
    • ‘From the golden age came many cartoons with characters that were based on comic strips.’
    • ‘Up until 1950s, the Walt Disney Company was known primarily for its animated movies and short cartoons.’
    • ‘Way back when, theaters used to show cartoons, newsreels, and short films before you'd see the main attraction.’
    • ‘Twelve cartoon or animated short features make up this disc, so I'll give a short description of what to expect.’
    • ‘Plus marks go to the superbly clever animated opening credits, recalling the Pink Panther cartoons and giving a real flavour of the Sixties, in which the film is mostly set.’
    • ‘I would rather watch animated features made for adults than cartoons.’
    • ‘His initial background as a filmmaker was in cartoons and animation film, and it shows.’
    • ‘Of course, we've realised that the only movies we've been to see since Rebecca's birth have been cartoons or animated films of some sort.’
    • ‘With the exception of cartoons, film has simply never distinguished between the childish and the adult.’
    • ‘Watching the Disney cartoon again proves to be a far more appealing option.’
    • ‘Some of the reused footage from the old cartoons appears grainy or scratched, but one commentary track reveals that they were actually digitally treated to look older.’
    • ‘Side views are nullified as the cartoon insistently animates its characters from the front.’
    • ‘The movie looks pretty cool, a mix of 20s and 30s Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons.’
    • ‘It was fun to compare the still drawings to the finished cartoon, and it gives one a feel for how animators and writers rough-sketch their ideas.’
    • ‘Many of us have grown up with Disney cartoons and animated films and for some, they were the only kind of entertainment allowed by parents.’
    • ‘The film plays like a live-action cartoon, with deliberately flat backdrops, oversized props, and campy, exaggerated action.’
    • ‘Uninhibited characterizations dominated the American animated cartoons of World War II.’
    • ‘He ranked among Hollywood's greatest film animators and his achievements in the world of film cartoons was often compared to those of Walt Disney, who created Mickey Mouse.’
    • ‘You would think nothing of it if the film were a cartoon - but seeing the same sequences performed by live actors?’
    • ‘The series pairs films by the same director and features other material relative to the era of the films, such as newsreels and cartoons.’
    animated film, animated cartoon, animation
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  • 3A full-size drawing made by an artist as a preliminary design for a painting or other work of art.

    ‘the tapestries are based on a set of cartoons commissioned by Pope Leo XI’
    • ‘He also produced tapestry cartoons and designs for theatrical sets and costumes.’
    • ‘Fantagraphics have announced that, finally, they're releasing a compendium of drawings, paintings and cartoons by Arnold Roth.’
    • ‘There were also an exhibition of paintings, collages and cartoons by the creative group.’
    • ‘He then pricked this tracing through with a pin, following the standard workshop technique for transferring working drawings or cartoons to canvases.’
    • ‘The largest of all the drawings Egerton acquired were the two Carracci cartoons he gave to London's National Gallery in 1837, while he was one of its trustees.’
    • ‘The competition saw some original ideas in the form of cartoons and intricate designs woven by hands-on-hands in the ‘mehndi’ section.’
    • ‘He constantly reworked his concepts in drawings and in the final cartoons, as well as in oil studies.’
    • ‘Disgruntled and angry, Michelangelo gave the Leda and its cartoon to his pupil Antonio Mini, who took both images to France.’
    • ‘It may be grouped with other such pictures which we believe were executed by Bronzino on the basis of his master's drawings or cartoons.’
    • ‘Because his reputation as a portraitist was growing, it is not surprising that an incentive was necessary to lure him back to painting tapestry cartoons.’
    • ‘The cartoons were shipped to Peshawar, Pakistan, and woven.’
    • ‘Rubens made no squared up cartoons of paintings.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the workshop each student prepared a cartoon (a preliminary drawing of what is going to be painted).’
    • ‘Boucher considered these tapestry cartoons, which belonged to Mine de Pompadour and hung in her chateau at Bellevue, to be among his happiest inventions.’
    • ‘However, it is unquestionably by a later sixteenth-century artist, who presumably painted it after Bronzino's cartoon.’
    • ‘The former made cartoons for windows depicting Adam and Eve in 1865 and the latter in 1857 and 1865.’
    • ‘The creation of the tapestry cartoons, which vary in size but measure approximately eleven by sixteen feet, involved a tremendous outlay of manpower.’
    • ‘Vasari's biography confirms that Leonardo began to draw the cartoon in the Sala del Papa of the monumental Dominican building complex of Santa Maria Novella.’
    • ‘The first of its kind in the region, the studio offers a range of artistic services including graphic design, cartoons, murals, logos and illustrations.’
    • ‘His stylish and decorative mythological paintings, tapestry cartoons, and designs for porcelain provided the setting for the lives of the rich and fashionable.’
    sketch, rough, preliminary drawing, outline, delineation, tracing, artist's impression
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verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Make a drawing of (someone) in a simplified or exaggerated way.

    ‘she has a face with enough character to be cartooned’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So I spent an hour or two cartooning it out, and Playboy ran it as-is.’
    • ‘Kudelka has been cartooning for The Australian since 1998 and for The Hobart Mercury since 1993.’

Origin

Late 16th century (in cartoon (sense 3 of the noun)): from Italian cartone, from carta, from Latin carta, charta (see card). cartoon (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the mid 19th century.

Pronunciation

cartoon

/kɑːˈtuːn/