Definition of cartoon in English:

cartoon

noun

  • 1A simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in a humorously exaggerated way, especially a satirical one in a newspaper or magazine.

    ‘the minister faced a welter of hostile headlines and mocking cartoons’
    • ‘He also turned to satirical cartoons and illustrations for newspapers and magazines.’
    • ‘There were press attacks and vicious satirical cartoons featuring Queen Victoria throughout the middle of the 19th century.’
    • ‘It's an addition to the Comics page, devoted not to an artist, or a strip, or a subject, but just to a year: the newspaper cartoons of 1907.’
    • ‘Mauldin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1945, and the United Features Syndicate distributed his cartoons to hundreds of newspapers.’
    • ‘Disillusioned with the politics and antics of politicians, Vijayan ventured into dark corners of history to find subjects for his cartoons.’
    • ‘He started trying to draw cartoons again, satirical sketches of popular figures (a talent which he'd had since a boy).’
    • ‘Encouraged by his comrades' response to his drawings, he eventually sent one of his cartoons to the Bystander magazine, and a legend was born.’
    • ‘Yet in today's multimedia world, satire has entered the mainstream via theatre, television, music, newspaper cartoons, radio, and the internet.’
    • ‘Did you look at other cartoons in the magazine for inspiration?’
    • ‘I don't even pay attention to political cartoons in newspapers.’
    • ‘As a child Cullen drew cartoons for the local newspaper, but since then he's painted everything from criminals to the devil.’
    • ‘While in Greece in 1997 I noticed a newspaper cartoon by Kosta Mitropoulou.’
    • ‘A cartoon in an Indonesian newspaper summed up what words and pictures struggled to convey.’
    • ‘Knight began sending his cartoons out to local newspapers and magazines, then to publications across the country.’
    • ‘The books - Europe since Versailles and Europe at War - date back to 1940 and 1941 and feature political cartoons by Sir David Low.’
    • ‘Each week we will feature one of her cartoons, which provide amusing insights into Southampton's rich past.’
    • ‘John Bull And Patriotism is the first in a series of six exhibitions featuring cartoons by James Gilray.’
    • ‘The cartoon featured a confused looking gentleman looking at a billboard advertising a horror film.’
    • ‘When one becomes the subject of cartoons, it is time to go.’
    • ‘Newspaper cartoons are popular and important for social critique.’
    caricature, parody, lampoon, satire, travesty
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1also cartoon stripA narrative sequence of humorous drawings in a comic, magazine, or newspaper, usually with captions.
      ‘a Peanuts cartoon by Charles Schulz’
      • ‘The scope for interesting and humorous plots for each cartoon strip seemed (at the time) to be endless.’
      • ‘A one-page cartoon strip which Lennon drew for the Daily Howl, a comic he drew while at school, was expected to fetch £13 - £20,000 but went for £53,400.’
      • ‘In the late 1980s he met the Canadian publisher of a little magazine Casual Casual, and the first Jim Bones cartoon strip appeared in print.’
      • ‘Pekar's endearingly pathetic life is given an new perspective when he translates his desultory day-today experiences into the basis for a cartoon strip.’
      • ‘The book was Raymond Briggs' tragi-comic cartoon strip When the Wind Blows, given to me as a Christmas present by my grandfather.’
      • ‘I'm hoping that my cartoon strip will inspire readers both young and not-so-young to find out more about the history on their doorstep.’
      • ‘I wrote a cartoon strip once that ran for a few years.’
      • ‘You may wonder how a cartoon strip about three potheads could survive the 1960s, let alone the 80s.’
      • ‘With his square jaw and sunken eyes, he looked like something out a cartoon strip, a mayor of Gotham who thought he was Superman.’
      • ‘The Institute of Physics in London have decided to celebrate his birth 100 years ago with a cartoon strip.’
      • ‘They will appear in a cartoon strip talking through speech bubbles.’
      • ‘The Telegraph reports today that the cartoon strip Alex is being turned into a 90 minute West End Show.’
      • ‘The second ‘If you can't be right, be wrong at the top of your voice’ is from a cartoon strip.’
      • ‘Since last night I have been working on doing a cartoon strip for the page, just a one-off thing about finding a job.’
      • ‘Popeye made his first appearance as a supporting character in a cartoon strip in Hearst's New York newspapers.’
      • ‘Bob's other credits include appearing with Michael Parkinson in Australia, and having his own cartoon strip published in the Daily Express.’
      • ‘The commentator compared it to the cartoon strip of a couple who explain to a marriage counsellor that they don't talk any more as ‘we figured out that's when we have all our fights.’’
      • ‘My current favorite cartoon strip is ‘Get Fuzzy’ and my all time favorite is ‘Calvin and Hobbes.’’
      • ‘Another specialist in ephemera of this kind and scenography was Baccio del Bianco, whose extraordinary caricatures, for which he was particularly celebrated, are an early form of the cartoon strip.’
      • ‘Using brightly coloured cards as a tool kit about gender imbalance and a cartoon strip - with a moral of course - the idea is to make it simple so that ordinary people can partner in the change.’
      comic strip, cartoon strip, comic, graphic novel
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A simplified or exaggerated version or interpretation of something.
      as modifier ‘the parents aren't the uncaring and cold cartoon villains that often litter these dramas’
      • ‘He can be viewed as the representative of this cartoon version of the public.’
      • ‘We now know it will sacrifice talent and demolish the dignity of a loyal employee for a cartoon version of moral purity.’
      • ‘Theirs is a cartoon version of the conflict.’
      • ‘I feel I've only met the cartoon version and it must be hard being the person, always misunderstood.’
      • ‘All in all, his relentless focus on the last several years produces a cartoon version of Lubavitcher history.’
      • ‘The cartoon version of relativism he is describing does not pervade society, because it does not exist at all.’
      • ‘My own dysfunctional family were out, so I had to replace them with a cartoon version.’
      • ‘We're often reduced to cartoon versions of ourselves, but that's inevitable.’
      • ‘I know my opponent would like to run against a mythical, big spending, government candidate, a cartoon image from campaigns past.’
      • ‘His first hurdle as chairman will be to erase the cartoon image of him that is seared into the minds of most of the population.’
      • ‘He is like a cartoon stereotype representing the worst side of the political culture.’
      • ‘It's so busy attempting to draw comparisons to male stereotypes that it can hardly avoid making its female characters into cartoons as well.’
      • ‘He isn't really so much a provocateur as he is a sort of freelance imbecile, a flesh and blood cartoon.’
  • 2A film using animation techniques to photograph a sequence of drawings rather than real people or objects.

    ‘we watched Yogi Bear cartoons on TV’
    as modifier ‘cartoon characters’
    ‘a cartoon show’
    • ‘Side views are nullified as the cartoon insistently animates its characters from the front.’
    • ‘Many of us have grown up with Disney cartoons and animated films and for some, they were the only kind of entertainment allowed by parents.’
    • ‘His initial background as a filmmaker was in cartoons and animation film, and it shows.’
    • ‘You would think nothing of it if the film were a cartoon - but seeing the same sequences performed by live actors?’
    • ‘Way back when, theaters used to show cartoons, newsreels, and short films before you'd see the main attraction.’
    • ‘Of course, we've realised that the only movies we've been to see since Rebecca's birth have been cartoons or animated films of some sort.’
    • ‘The series pairs films by the same director and features other material relative to the era of the films, such as newsreels and cartoons.’
    • ‘Some of the reused footage from the old cartoons appears grainy or scratched, but one commentary track reveals that they were actually digitally treated to look older.’
    • ‘Uninhibited characterizations dominated the American animated cartoons of World War II.’
    • ‘Plus marks go to the superbly clever animated opening credits, recalling the Pink Panther cartoons and giving a real flavour of the Sixties, in which the film is mostly set.’
    • ‘With the exception of cartoons, film has simply never distinguished between the childish and the adult.’
    • ‘Up until 1950s, the Walt Disney Company was known primarily for its animated movies and short cartoons.’
    • ‘He ranked among Hollywood's greatest film animators and his achievements in the world of film cartoons was often compared to those of Walt Disney, who created Mickey Mouse.’
    • ‘The movie looks pretty cool, a mix of 20s and 30s Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons.’
    • ‘The film plays like a live-action cartoon, with deliberately flat backdrops, oversized props, and campy, exaggerated action.’
    • ‘Watching the Disney cartoon again proves to be a far more appealing option.’
    • ‘From the golden age came many cartoons with characters that were based on comic strips.’
    • ‘It was fun to compare the still drawings to the finished cartoon, and it gives one a feel for how animators and writers rough-sketch their ideas.’
    • ‘I would rather watch animated features made for adults than cartoons.’
    • ‘Twelve cartoon or animated short features make up this disc, so I'll give a short description of what to expect.’
    animated film, animated cartoon, animation
    View synonyms
  • 3A full-size drawing made by an artist as a preliminary design for a painting or other work of art.

    ‘the tapestries are based on a set of cartoons commissioned by Pope Leo XI’
    • ‘His stylish and decorative mythological paintings, tapestry cartoons, and designs for porcelain provided the setting for the lives of the rich and fashionable.’
    • ‘The first of its kind in the region, the studio offers a range of artistic services including graphic design, cartoons, murals, logos and illustrations.’
    • ‘He also produced tapestry cartoons and designs for theatrical sets and costumes.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the workshop each student prepared a cartoon (a preliminary drawing of what is going to be painted).’
    • ‘Fantagraphics have announced that, finally, they're releasing a compendium of drawings, paintings and cartoons by Arnold Roth.’
    • ‘Boucher considered these tapestry cartoons, which belonged to Mine de Pompadour and hung in her chateau at Bellevue, to be among his happiest inventions.’
    • ‘It may be grouped with other such pictures which we believe were executed by Bronzino on the basis of his master's drawings or cartoons.’
    • ‘The largest of all the drawings Egerton acquired were the two Carracci cartoons he gave to London's National Gallery in 1837, while he was one of its trustees.’
    • ‘Rubens made no squared up cartoons of paintings.’
    • ‘Vasari's biography confirms that Leonardo began to draw the cartoon in the Sala del Papa of the monumental Dominican building complex of Santa Maria Novella.’
    • ‘There were also an exhibition of paintings, collages and cartoons by the creative group.’
    • ‘The competition saw some original ideas in the form of cartoons and intricate designs woven by hands-on-hands in the ‘mehndi’ section.’
    • ‘Because his reputation as a portraitist was growing, it is not surprising that an incentive was necessary to lure him back to painting tapestry cartoons.’
    • ‘He then pricked this tracing through with a pin, following the standard workshop technique for transferring working drawings or cartoons to canvases.’
    • ‘However, it is unquestionably by a later sixteenth-century artist, who presumably painted it after Bronzino's cartoon.’
    • ‘Disgruntled and angry, Michelangelo gave the Leda and its cartoon to his pupil Antonio Mini, who took both images to France.’
    • ‘He constantly reworked his concepts in drawings and in the final cartoons, as well as in oil studies.’
    • ‘The creation of the tapestry cartoons, which vary in size but measure approximately eleven by sixteen feet, involved a tremendous outlay of manpower.’
    • ‘The cartoons were shipped to Peshawar, Pakistan, and woven.’
    • ‘The former made cartoons for windows depicting Adam and Eve in 1865 and the latter in 1857 and 1865.’
    sketch, rough, preliminary drawing, outline, delineation, tracing, artist's impression
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • Make a drawing of (someone) in a simplified or exaggerated way.

    ‘she has a face with enough character to be cartooned’
    • ‘The burgled British householder used to be caricatured coming down his stairway with poker in hand, while the burglar was cartooned as holding nothing more than a jemmy.’
    • ‘So I spent an hour or two cartooning it out, and Playboy ran it as-is.’
    • ‘Kudelka has been cartooning for The Australian since 1998 and for The Hobart Mercury since 1993.’

Origin

Late 16th century (in cartoon (sense 3 of the noun)): from Italian cartone, from carta, from Latin carta, charta (see card). cartoon (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the mid 19th century.

Pronunciation

cartoon

/kɑːˈtuːn/