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English Wikipedia has an article on:
Beaux Arts cartouche on Strada Doctor Dimitrie D. Gerota no. 9, Bucharest, Romania, c.1900, unknown architect (sense 1)
The cartouche of Ramses II (sense 2)


Borrowed from French cartouche, from Italian cartuccia, from carta, from Latin charta, from Ancient Greek χάρτης (khártēs). Doublet of cartridge.



cartouche (plural cartouches)

  1. (architecture) An ornamental figure, often on an oval shield.
  2. (Egyptian hieroglyphs) An oval figure containing the characters of an important personal name, such as that of royal or divine people.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, chapter 3, in She:
      Besides the uncial writing on the convex side of the sherd at the top, painted in dull red, on what had once been the lip of the amphora, was the cartouche already mentioned as being on the scarabaeus, which we had also found in the casket.
    • 2013, Margalit Fox, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, Profile 2014, page 49:
      In 1762, Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, a French priest who was a scholar of Eastern languages, had made the inspired guess that the cartouches set off words of great importance, such as the names of gods or rulers.
  3. A paper cartridge.
  4. A wooden case filled with balls, to be shot from a cannon.
  5. A gunner's bag for ammunition.
  6. A military pass for a soldier on furlough.


See also[edit]

  • (Egyptian hieroglyphs): serekh



Borrowed from Italian cartuccia, a diminutive of carta, from Latin charta, from Ancient Greek χάρτης (khártēs).



cartouche m (plural cartouches)

  1. cartouche (ornamental figure)
  2. cartouche (Egyptian hieroglyphic of name)
  3. title block (technical drawing)


cartouche f (plural cartouches)

  1. cartridge

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]