• synonyms


or car·touch

See more synonyms for cartouche on Thesaurus.com
  1. Architecture. a rounded, convex surface, usually surrounded with carved ornamental scrollwork, for receiving a painted or low-relief decoration, as an escutcheon.
  2. an oval or oblong figure, as on ancient Egyptian monuments, enclosing characters that represent the name of a sovereign.
  3. the case containing the inflammable materials in certain fireworks.
  4. cartridge(def 1).
  5. a box for cartridges.
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Origin of cartouche

1605–15; < Middle French < Italian cartoccio, equivalent to cart(a) paper (see carte) + -occio augmentative suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

wheel, shell, cylinder, ball, convolution, bobbin, spiral, spool, fold, cone, whorl, coil, barrel, reel, scroll, cornucopia, cartouche, trundle, volute, rundle

Examples from the Web for cartouche

Historical Examples

  • I shall tell you later when I have deciphered his cartouche.

    The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5

    Theophile Gautier

  • Cartouche, as usual, was fixed upon; and in the tick of his bed, lo!

  • "Give him another ball," said Cartouche; and another was fired into him.

  • XX, 29, is perhaps a name compounded with that of a king, the latter being in a cartouche.

    El Kab

    J.E. Quibell

  • The name in a cartouche seems to be Ka-kau-ra, which is not that of a known king.

    El Kab

    J.E. Quibell

British Dictionary definitions for cartouche



  1. a carved or cast ornamental tablet or panel in the form of a scroll, sometimes having an inscription
  2. an oblong figure enclosing characters expressing royal or divine names in Egyptian hieroglyphics
  3. the paper case holding combustible materials in certain fireworks
  4. rare a cartridge or a box for cartridges
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Word Origin

C17: from French: scroll, cartridge, from Italian cartoccio, from carta paper; see card 1
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 cartouche


1610s, "scroll-like ornament," also "paper cartridge," from French cartouche, the French form of cartridge (q.v.). Application to Egyptian hieroglyphics dates from 1830, on resemblance to rolled paper cartridges.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper