Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. A drawing depicting a humorous situation, often accompanied by a caption.
b. A drawing representing current public figures or issues symbolically and often satirically: a political cartoon.
2. A preliminary sketch similar in size to the work, such as a fresco, that is to be copied from it.
a. A usually short, animated movie or television program.
b. An animated character in a movie or television program.
4. A comic strip.
5. A ridiculously oversimplified or stereotypical representation: criticized the actor's portrayal of Jefferson as a historically inaccurate cartoon.
v. car·tooned, car·toon·ing, car·toons
To draw a humorous or satirical representation of; caricature.
To make humorous or satirical drawings.

[French carton, drawing, from Italian cartone, pasteboard; see carton.]

car·toon′ish, car·toon′y adj.
car·toon′ist n.


like a cartoon, esp in being one-dimensional, brightly coloured, or exaggerated
References in periodicals archive ?
If Pupi Avati were to make a film with a gay character, it might look and feel something like "Magnificent Presence." Helmer Ferzan Ozpetek continues to distance himself from any edginess, settling for sweet and sunny themes, and avoiding real struggles with this pleasant if cartoonish tale of a socially awkward guy who helps out a troupe of ghosts inhabiting his apartment.
The cartoonish guest was at the launch of Acne clothes store in London.
They should make a prettier doll because she is a prettier woman than that long-faced cartoonish thing," said Queens resident Carl Williams, 53.
The bright cartoonish illustrations are just right for the kind of book this is.
Craft is never not crafty in her deployment of materials, so it would be dumb to miss the "inappropriateness" of using immortal, memorial bronze for such a seemingly cartoonish endeavor.
The effects are cartoonish, the dubbing is clunky and the underdog sports story is one we've seen plenty of times before.
In contrast, the cartoonish murder scene that follows is quite agreeable.
Something in me just thought, I can't wait for the time when a gay couple can be just as boring." In fact, in his original draft the two Jims wore matching jogging suits, but that detail was changed when the filmmakers decided it might look too cartoonish.
Instead of frightening, the resulting gore and cartoonish violence are mostly just gleefully over-the-top.
"And we're not just talking about cartoonish two-seater cars.
A cartoonish little beagle dreams of self-aggrandisement.
One column of five yellow blobs has a cartoonish helicopter landing at its top (Untitled, 1995); elsewhere, pearly teeth loom out of the darkness (Untitled, 1991); and in a gloriously macabre example, what look at first glance like mangled tulips turn out to be animal heads atop flower stems (Untitled, 1998).