or car·touch

[ kahr-toosh ]
/ kɑrˈtuʃ /


Architecture. a rounded, convex surface, usually surrounded with carved ornamental scrollwork, for receiving a painted or low-relief decoration, as an escutcheon.
an oval or oblong figure, as on ancient Egyptian monuments, enclosing characters that represent the name of a sovereign.
the case containing the inflammable materials in certain fireworks.
a box for cartridges.

Nearby words

  1. cartoonish,
  2. cartoonist,
  3. cartop,
  4. cartophily,
  5. cartopper,
  6. cartridge,
  7. cartridge belt,
  8. cartridge brass,
  9. cartridge clip,
  10. cartridge paper

Origin of cartouche

1605–15; < Middle French < Italian cartoccio, equivalent to cart(a) paper (see carte) + -occio augmentative suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cartouche

British Dictionary definitions for cartouche



/ (kɑːˈtuːʃ) /


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

Word Origin for cartouche

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper