Definition of cartouche in English:

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Pronunciation: /kɑːˈtuːʃ/


1A carved tablet or drawing representing a scroll with rolled-up ends, used ornamentally or bearing an inscription.
Example sentences
  • In fact, the inscriptions in the cartouches at the top of each scroll were taken from Genshin's treatise.
1.1A decorative architectural feature, such as a modillion or corbel, resembling a scroll.
Example sentences
  • The exceptionally well-proportioned case of richly figured mahogany original except for the cartouche, finials, feet, and dial-arch molding, is a monument to the rococo style.
  • The plaster frieze with cartouches and swags of fruit and the luminous stained-glass panels over the windows give the room a baroque glamour.
  • He hit upon the idea after noticing that an image on the cartouche above the hall's south steps looked a bit like a gnome.
2An ornate frame around a design or inscription: a coat of arms in a cartouche
More example sentences
  • Indeed, they frequently serve as frames or cartouches for coats of arms, personal devices, or statues of patron saints venerated by religious institutions.
  • The central figure is St Anne, standing on a pedestal that is decorated with female hybrid creatures, which frame a ritual inscription in a cartouche.
  • The great majority of Stone's other armorial cartouches were for funerary monuments, while the Russell / Brydges cartouches were obviously designed with the spirit of the grotto in mind.
2.1 Archaeology An oval or oblong enclosing a group of Egyptian hieroglyphs, typically representing the name and title of a monarch.
Example sentences
  • The cartouche or oval ring enclosing the name of Tutankhamun was found on objects throughout his tomb.
  • Champollion wondered if the first hieroglyph in the cartouche, the disc, might represent the sun, and then he assumed its sound value to be that of the Coptic word for sun, ‘ra’.
  • As the son and successor of King Huni and Meresankh I, he was the first king to use the oval cartouche, as opposed to the rectangular serekh, to frame his name when it was written down.


Early 17th century: from French cartouche (masculine noun), earlier cartoche, from Italian cartoccio, from carta, from Latin carta, charta (see card1).

Words that rhyme with cartouche

barouche, douche, farouche, louche, ruche, sloosh, swoosh, tarboosh

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: car|touche

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