Definition of cartoon noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kɑːˈtuːn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɑːrˈtuːn//
    Types of film, The press, Artwork and techniques, TV shows
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  1. 1an amusing drawing in a newspaper or magazine, especially one about politics or events in the news Express YourselfDescribing a pictureIn some exams, you have to describe what you see in a picture or photograph. Here are some useful phrases: The picture shows a family gathered around a kitchen table. This is a picture/​photo of a busy city street. In the foreground/​background, we can see a group of protesters. In the bottom right-hand corner/​top left-hand corner, there's a child sitting alone. On the left/​on the right/​in the middle, someone is standing with a bottle in his hand. In the cartoon, we can see two people looking at a newspaper headline. The cartoonist has drawn the man to represent a typical businessman. See related entries: The press
  2. 2= comic strip Culturecomics and comic stripsA comic in the US means a comic strip or strip cartoon. Comic strips are a series of small drawings, called frames, with words that tell a story. Most US newspapers contain comic strips that are read by both adults and children. On weekdays they are usually four frames long, printed in black and white. On Sundays they are longer and in colour. Comic strips are also popular in British newspapers. Some can be found on the Internet.Most comic strips make jokes about the characters in them and the things that happen to them. For instance, in the Peanuts strips (1950-2000) many of the jokes are about Charlie Brown, who has very bad luck, and his friend Lucy, who is unkind to him. In Calvin and Hobbes (1985-1995) , the humour comes from the relationship between a boy and his imaginary friend, a toy tiger. Comic strips in British newspapers include Andy Capp and The Perishers. In the US, Dilbert is about life in the office while Doonesburycomments on political situations through its characters. Most newspapers also print single frames that comment in a humorous way on politicians and other people in the news. These are known as cartoons.In Britain a comic is a picture magazine, usually for children. Comics contain short stories written as comic strips, and sometimes also competitions and articles. Some parents do not approve of comics, but others argue that they encourage children to read. Popular children's comics include Beano, Dandy, and 2000 AD, which features mainly science fiction stories. Comics for very young children are often based on popular television programmes, such as Thomas and Friends (which features Thomas the Tank Engine). Adult comics, such as Viz, are usually very rude.Some of the characters in Beano and Dandy have not changed much over the years and now look old-fashioned. Teachers, for instance, still wear mortar boards (= stiff black hats with a square top), though real teachers stopped wearing them long ago. Many of the most popular comics appear in the form of books, called annuals, around Christmas each year.Comic books are similar to comics. Each book has a set of characters who have adventures. Many of the characters, such as Spider-Man, Superman and Wonder Woman, have powers that ordinary people do not have.Pictures of the most famous characters from comic strips and comic books are used on a range of products, for example they are printed on bed covers, T-shirts, lunch boxes and birthday cards.
  3. 3(also animated cartoon) a film/movie made by photographing a series of gradually changing drawings or models, so that they look as if they are moving a Walt Disney cartoon a cartoon character See related entries: Types of film, TV shows
  4. 4(specialist) a drawing made by an artist as a preparation for a painting See related entries: Artwork and techniques
  5. Word Originlate 16th cent. (in sense (4)): from Italian cartone, from carta, from Latin carta, charta, from Greek khartēs ‘papyrus leaf’. Sense (1) dates from the mid 19th cent.Extra examples He draws strip cartoons for ‘The Guardian’. The kids spend their Saturdays watching cartoons. He started drawing cartoons when he was still at school. The funniest contributions to the magazine are the cartoons. a full-length Disney cartoon a political cartoon a strip cartoon
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cartoon

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