- 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.
- cartridge(def 1).
- a box for cartridges.
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
Examples from the Web for cartouche
I shall tell you later when I have deciphered his cartouche.The Works of Theophile Gautier, Volume 5
"Give him another ball," said Cartouche; and another was fired into him.
Cartouche, as usual, was fixed upon; and in the tick of his bed, lo!
XX, 29, is perhaps a name compounded with that of a king, the latter being in a cartouche.
The name in a cartouche seems to be Ka-kau-ra, which is not that of a known king.
- 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
C17: from French: scroll, cartridge, from Italian cartoccio, from carta paper; see card 1
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