a sketch or drawing, usually humorous, as in a newspaper or periodical, symbolizing, satirizing, or caricaturing some action, subject, or person of popular interest.
comic strip.
animated cartoon.
Fine Arts. a full-scale design for a picture, ornamental motif or pattern, or the like, to be transferred to a fresco, tapestry, etc.
resembling a cartoon or caricature:
The novel is full of predictable, cartoon characters, never believable as real people.
to represent by a cartoon.
to draw cartoons.
Contemporary Examples

The cartoonist had a point: Literary festivals now seem almost as globally contagious as SARS.
A Passage to Literature! William Dalrymple January 18, 2011

“My name is Alison Bechdel and I am a cartoonist,” she says with a little laugh at the beginning of her MacArthur video.
Alison Bechdel: Genius to Watch Out For Tim Teeman September 17, 2014

It is that intolerance to any depiction of the prophet that led to the threat against a Danish cartoonist who dared draw Mohammed.
The Fire-Bombed Book Ayaan Hirsi Ali October 4, 2008

The combination of talents that you need to be a daily cartoonist is weird.
Aaron McGruder’s ‘The Boondocks’ Returns Without Aaron McGruder Rich Goldstein April 20, 2014

Syrian cartoonist Ali Farazat had both of his arms broken by regime thugs.
Celebrate Dictator Appreciation Month David Keyes June 19, 2013

Historical Examples

When we speak of Sherwin, inevitably we think of Frank Beard, the cartoonist, whose jokes were as original as his pictures.
The Story of Chautauqua Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

He had been the cartoonist of the college magazine when I was its editor.
If You Don’t Write Fiction Charles Phelps Cushing

The title and legend are written on a piece of paper, which, enclosed in an envelope, is then handed over to the cartoonist.
The History of “Punch” M. H. Spielmann

The men who have borne the title of Punch’s cartoonist are fifteen in number.
The History of “Punch” M. H. Spielmann

From the latter the cartoonist builds up the century’s history as recorded in its great events.
The History of the Nineteenth Century in Caricature Arthur Bartlett Maurice

a humorous or satirical drawing, esp one in a newspaper or magazine, concerning a topical event
Also called comic strip. a sequence of drawings in a newspaper, magazine, etc, relating a comic or adventurous situation
See animated cartoon
a full-size preparatory sketch for a fresco, tapestry, mosaic, etc, from which the final work is traced or copied

1855, from cartoon (n.) + -ist.

1670s, “a drawing on strong paper (used as a model for another work),” from French carton, from Italian cartone “strong, heavy paper, pasteboard,” thus “preliminary sketches made by artists on such paper” (see carton). Extension to comical drawings in newspapers and magazines is 1843.

Punch has the benevolence to announce, that in an early number of his ensuing Volume he will astonish the Parliamentary Committee by the publication of several exquisite designs, to be called Punch’s Cartoons! [“Punch,” June 24, 1843]

Also see -oon.


1864 (implied in cartooned), from cartoon (n.). Related: Cartooning.


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