Origin of cartoon

1665–75; < Italian cartone pasteboard, stout paper, a drawing on such paper, equivalent to cart(a) paper (see carte) + -one augmentative suffix

Related forms

car·toon·ish, adjectivecar·toon·ist, nounun·car·tooned, adjective

Can be confused

burlesque caricature cartoon parody satire (see synonym study at burlesque) (see synonym study at satire)carton cartoon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cartoonish

British Dictionary definitions for cartoonish (1 of 2)


/ (ˌkɑːˈtuːnɪʃ) /


like a cartoon, esp in being one-dimensional, brightly coloured, or exaggerated

British Dictionary definitions for cartoonish (2 of 2)


/ (kɑːˈtuːn) /


a humorous or satirical drawing, esp one in a newspaper or magazine, concerning a topical event
Also called: comic strip a sequence of drawings in a newspaper, magazine, etc, relating a comic or adventurous situation
a full-size preparatory sketch for a fresco, tapestry, mosaic, etc, from which the final work is traced or copied

Derived Forms

cartoonist, noun

Word Origin for cartoon

C17: from Italian cartone pasteboard, sketch on stiff paper; see carton
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