A cartoon makes a brief, funny comment using illustrations and is often found on television, in a newspaper or in a magazine. The Simpsons and Snoopy? Both cartoons.
A cartoon can be a satirical or humorous drawing, a series of illustrations (also called a comic strip), or an animated film. Many kids grow up watching new and classic cartoons on TV. Political cartoons manage to sum up an often complex idea in one simple panel. When you criticize a character or a real person for being a cartoon, you mean that they are overly simplified or exaggerated: "I hate that show because all the women are cartoon characters." The word comes from the Italian cartone, "strong, heavy paper."