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 formscar·toon·ish, adjectivecar·toon·ist, nounun·car·tooned, adjective
Can be confusedburlesque 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

Related Words for cartoonist

illustrator, artist, caricaturist

Examples from the Web for cartoonist

Contemporary Examples of cartoonist

Historical Examples of cartoonist

  • And the cartoonist from Milwaukee took to looking for a cloud with a field glass.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh

    Edith Eudora Kohl

  • He had been the cartoonist of the college magazine when I was its editor.

    If You Don't Write Fiction

    Charles Phelps Cushing

  • The men who have borne the title of Punch's Cartoonist are fifteen in number.

    The History of "Punch"

    M. H. Spielmann

  • The cartoonist submits to him rough drafts of contemplated drawings.

    News Writing

    M. Lyle Spencer

  • Are singers less able to portray in art than is the cartoonist?

    Seed Thoughts for Singers

    Frank Herbert Tubbs

British Dictionary definitions for cartoonist



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 Formscartoonist, 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

Word Origin and History for cartoonist

1855, from cartoon (n.) + -ist.



1864 (implied in cartooned), from cartoon (n.). Related: Cartooning.



1670s, "a drawing on strong paper (used as a model for another work)," from French carton, from Italian cartone "strong, heavy paper, pasteboard," thus "preliminary sketches made by artists on such paper" (see carton). Extension to comical drawings in newspapers and magazines is 1843.

Punch has the benevolence to announce, that in an early number of his ensuing Volume he will astonish the Parliamentary Committee by the publication of several exquisite designs, to be called Punch's Cartoons! ["Punch," June 24, 1843]

Also see -oon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper