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noun cap·ture \ˈkap-chər, -shər\

Simple Definition of capture

  • : the act of taking and holding someone as a prisoner or of being taken as a prisoner

  • : the act of getting control of something

  • : the act of putting information in a form that a computer can use or read

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of capture

  1. 1 :  an act or instance of capturing: as a :  an act of catching, winning, or gaining control by force, stratagem, or guile b :  a move in a board game (as chess or checkers) that gains an opponent's piece c :  the absorption by an atom, nucleus, or particle of a subatomic particle that often results in subsequent emission of radiation or in fission d :  the act of recording in a permanent file <data capture>

  2. 2 :  one that has been taken (as a prize ship)

Examples of capture in a sentence

  1. the capture of the city by enemy forces

  2. <a Spanish treasure ship was the most valuable capture ever taken by that privateer>

Origin of capture

Middle French, from Latin captura, from captus

First Known Use: circa 1542



verb, cap·ture

Simple Definition of capture

  • : to take and hold (someone) as a prisoner especially by using force

  • : to catch (an animal)

  • : to get control of (a place) especially by using force

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of capture

capturedcapturing play \ˈkap-chə-riŋ, ˈkap-shriŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to take captive; also :  to gain control of especially by force <capture a city> b :  to gain or win especially through effort <captured 60 percent of the vote>

  3. 2 a :  to emphasize, represent, or preserve (as a scene, mood, or quality) in a more or less permanent form <at any such moment as a photograph might capture — C. E. Montague> b :  to record in a permanent file (as in a computer)

  4. 3 :  to captivate and hold the interest of

  5. 4 :  to take according to the rules of a game

  6. 5 :  to bring about the capture of (a subatomic particle)

Examples of capture in a sentence

  1. They were captured by enemy soldiers.

  2. using traps to capture mice

  3. The city was captured by the Romans.

  4. She captured 60 percent of the vote in the last election.

  5. The company plans on capturing a larger segment of the market.

  6. The show has captured the attention of teenagers.


First Known Use of capture


Synonym Discussion of capture

catch, capture, trap, snare, entrap, ensnare, bag mean to come to possess or control by or as if by seizing. catch implies the seizing of something in motion or in flight or in hiding <caught the dog as it ran by>. capture suggests taking by overcoming resistance or difficulty <capture an enemy stronghold>. trap, snare, entrap, ensnare imply seizing by some device that holds the one caught at the mercy of the captor. trap and snare apply more commonly to physical seizing <trap animals> <snared butterflies with a net>. entrap and ensnare more often are figurative <entrapped the witness with a trick question> <a sting operation that ensnared burglars>. bag implies shooting down a fleeing or distant prey <bagged a brace of pheasants>.

CAPTURE Defined for Kids



verb cap·ture \ˈkap-chər\

Definition of capture for Students


  1. 1 :  to take and hold especially by force <The eagle captured its prey.>

  2. 2 :  to win or get through effort <The candidate captured more than half the vote.>

  3. 3 :  to get and hold <The seaweed strewn about … had captured her attention. — Kevin Henkes, Olive's Ocean>

  4. 4 :  to put into a lasting form <She captured the scene in a photo.>

Word Root of capture

The Latin word capere, meaning “to seize” or “to take,” and its form captus give us the roots cap, capt, and cept. Words from the Latin capere have something to do with taking. To capture is to take something or someone by using force. To accept is to take something willingly. Anyone capable of doing something is able to take on that task.



noun cap·ture

Definition of capture for Students

  1. :  the act of taking and holding especially by force

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up capture? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

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