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caricature

[kar-i-kuh-cher, -choo r]
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noun
  1. a picture, description, etc., ludicrously exaggerating the peculiarities or defects of persons or things: His caricature of the mayor in this morning's paper is the best he's ever drawn.
  2. the art or process of producing such pictures, descriptions, etc.
  3. any imitation or copy so distorted or inferior as to be ludicrous.
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verb (used with object), car·i·ca·tured, car·i·ca·tur·ing.
  1. to make a caricature of; represent in caricature.
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Origin of caricature

1740–50; earlier caricatura < Italian, equivalent to caricat(o) loaded, i.e., distorted (past participle of caricare; see charge) + -ura -ure
Related formscar·i·ca·tur·a·ble, adjectivecar·i·ca·tur·al, adjectivecar·i·ca·tur·ist, nounself-car·i·ca·ture, nounsem·i·car·i·ca·tur·al, adjectiveun·car·i·ca·tured, adjective
Can be confusedburlesque caricature cartoon parody satire (see synonym study at burlesque)

Synonyms

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1. cartoon. 3. travesty.

Synonym study

1. See burlesque.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for caricatures

caricature

noun
  1. a pictorial, written, or acted representation of a person, which exaggerates his characteristic traits for comic effect
  2. a ludicrously inadequate or inaccurate imitationhe is a caricature of a statesman
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verb
  1. (tr) to represent in caricature or produce a caricature of
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Derived Formscaricatural, adjectivecaricaturist, noun

Word Origin

C18: from Italian caricatura a distortion, exaggeration, from caricare to load, exaggerate; see cargo
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for caricatures

caricature

v.

1749, from caricature (n.). Related: Caricatured; caricaturing.

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caricature

n.

1748 (figurative), 1750 (literal), from French caricature (18c.), from Italian caricatura "satirical picture; an exaggeration," literally "an overloading," from caricare "to load, exaggerate," from Vulgar Latin carricare "to load a car" (see charge (v.)). The Italian form had been used in English from 1680s and was common 18c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

caricatures in Culture

caricature

In art or literature, portrayal of an individual or thing that exaggerates and distorts prominent characteristics so as to make them appear ridiculous. Caricature is commonly a medium for satire.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.