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or cartouch

[kahr-toosh] /kɑrˈtuʃ/
Architecture. a rounded, convex surface, usually surrounded with carved ornamental scrollwork, for receiving a painted or low-relief decoration, as an escutcheon.
an oval or oblong figure, as on ancient Egyptian monuments, enclosing characters that represent the name of a sovereign.
the case containing the inflammable materials in certain fireworks.
cartridge (def 1).
a box for cartridges.
Origin of cartouche
1605-15; < Middle French < Italian cartoccio, equivalent to cart(a) paper (see carte) + -occio augmentative suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cartouche
Historical Examples
  • My friend, you must drive out cartouche, because cartouche is no more.

  • "Give him another ball," said cartouche; and another was fired into him.

    The Paris Sketch Book of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Beneath this has been a cartouche, the greater portion of which is unfortunately cut away.

  • XX, 29, is perhaps a name compounded with that of a king, the latter being in a cartouche.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • This portrait, which is your portrait, is the portrait of that great eighteenth-century king of thieves, cartouche!

  • It is a cartouche, and those are hieroglyphics—his name in Egyptian.

    That Fortune Charles Dudley Warner
  • cartouche, in Egyptian buildings, a hieroglyphic signifying the name of a king or other important person.

    Architecture Thomas Roger Smith
  • You agree that cartouche is your real name and not a nickname?

  • I would give anything to have known Vidocq and cartouche and Rocambole, and to have seen them at close quarters.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • But you have also the soul of cartouche, which is detestable.

British Dictionary definitions for cartouche


a carved or cast ornamental tablet or panel in the form of a scroll, sometimes having an inscription
an oblong figure enclosing characters expressing royal or divine names in Egyptian hieroglyphics
the paper case holding combustible materials in certain fireworks
(rare) a cartridge or a box for cartridges
Word Origin
C17: from French: scroll, cartridge, from Italian cartoccio, from carta paper; see card1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cartouche

1610s, "scroll-like ornament," also "paper cartridge," from French cartouche, the French form of cartridge (q.v.). Application to Egyptian hieroglyphics dates from 1830, on resemblance to rolled paper cartridges.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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