cap·​tion | \ ˈkap-shən How to pronounce caption (audio) \

Definition of caption

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the part of a legal document that shows where, when, and by what authority it was taken, found, or executed
2a : the heading especially of an article or document : title
b : the explanatory comment or designation accompanying a pictorial illustration read the caption for the names of the people in the picture
c : a movie or television show subtitle


captioned; captioning\ ˈkap-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce captioning (audio) \

Definition of caption (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to furnish with a caption Almost all live TV sports events are captioned for the hearing-impaired.

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Other Words from caption


captionless \ ˈkap-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce captionless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for caption

Synonyms: Noun

cutline, legend

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Examples of caption in a Sentence


The caption on the picture says “This year's contest winners.” for the school yearbook, funny captions were written for snapshots showing a typical day at school

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And misinformation about the attacks began to spread on Twitter, with some users sharing stock photos of chemical burns with captions identifying them as caused by milkshakes., "Milkshake-makers in Portland protests say they got death threats after police warned of ‘quick-drying cement’," 3 July 2019 Some of the images included lewd captions, Gruca said. Elyssa Cherney,, "Baptist schoolteacher who is pastor’s wife traded alcohol for sex with minor student, sent nude images, prosecutors allege," 3 July 2019 Facebook’s investigation revealed that its content review system does not always place sufficient emphasis on captions and context. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Facebook’s New Content Moderation Tools Put Posts in Context," 3 July 2019 The author’s narration sometimes seems more like extended captions than like literature, but it’s Arnade’s photos that do much of the talking. Marlo Safi, National Review, "A Raw Look at the New ‘Other Half’," 29 June 2019 Supreme’s logo resembles the work of conceptual artist Barbara Kruger, whose black-and-white photos are often accompanied by captions in red-and-white text. Khadeeja Safdar, WSJ, "How Supreme Got Pulled Into a Fight for Its Billion-Dollar Brand," 28 June 2019 The captions on Ollie’s posts are clearly the thoughts of his owner. Mindy Sink, The Know, "5 Colorado Instagram pets that are more adventurous (and cuter) than you," 27 June 2019 Barker had been tipped off by someone who saw the photograph online of one of the hunters with a ram; the caption described the kill site as in northern British Columbia. National Geographic, "In the Alaska-Yukon wilderness, wildlife crime fighters face a daunting task," 25 June 2019 Rubin interviews players to create the first-person captions that accompany the photos. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "Tennis Travails, Not Triumphs, Gain a Spotlight in an Instagram Series," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Most of the campaigns have taken other steps to be accessible, such as captioning their announcement videos to help deaf voters, answering questions from disability nonprofit RespectAbility or reaching out to activists in the disability community. Abigail Abrams, Time, "None of the 2020 Presidential Candidates' Websites Are Fully Accessible to Disabled Voters," 26 June 2019 Chita and husband Lane Craft posed for a similar shot; the couple is expecting their second child, a baby girl, later this year, and captioned the photo #eatingfortwo. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Media stars and a former Texans player taste-test new Original Ninfa's Uptown on VIP night," 7 June 2019 And with efforts to introduce live captioning on any piece of Internet content, that circle of inclusion extends to the deaf community as well. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Google Just Proved That Our Voice Is the Ultimate UI," 7 May 2019 Williams captioned a photo of herself serving at the tournament. Kelcie Willis, ajc, "Serena Williams withdraws from French Open due to injury," 4 June 2018 JoJo captioned the picture, linking to a YouTube video that showed the car in further detail. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber Commented on YouTuber JoJo Siwa's Car on Instagram," 30 Dec. 2018 Followers caught another glimpse of the baby's new bling in a photo Kylie shared later, featuring Stormi taking a nap on Kylie's chest, which the new mom captioned with a pink heart emoji. Andrea Park, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Is Getting Mommy-Shamed for Piercing 5-Month-Old Stormi's Ears," 12 July 2018 The couple is incredibly affectionate on Instagram, often snuggling up in snapshots captioned with the hashtag #HMF (although the meaning is unclear). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "How Christina El Moussa Found Love With Boyfriend Ant Anstead Following Her Divorce From Tarek," 12 July 2018 This 30-year-old photographer from Mobile, Alabama, decided to share an image of a woman crying in the shower on Instagram, captioning it with inspiring words that has hit such a chord, it's already racked up hundreds of thousands of views. Blake Bakkila,, "This Woman’s Powerful Message About Crying in the Shower Is Going Viral," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caption.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caption


circa 1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1848, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caption

Noun and Verb

probably short for certificate of caption (taking, seizure)

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Learn More about caption

Dictionary Entries near caption





caption code



Statistics for caption

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caption

The first known use of caption was circa 1670

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More Definitions for caption



English Language Learners Definition of caption

: a sentence or group of words that is written on or next to a picture to explain what is being shown


cap·​tion | \ ˈkap-shən How to pronounce caption (audio) \

Kids Definition of caption

: a comment or title that goes with a picture


cap·​tion | \ ˈkap-shən How to pronounce caption (audio) \

Legal Definition of caption

: the part of a legal document that states the court, the names of the parties, the docket number, the title of the document, and sometimes the name of the judge

History and Etymology for caption

Medieval Latin captio act of taking, from Latin capere to take

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More from Merriam-Webster on caption

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for caption

Spanish Central: Translation of caption

Nglish: Translation of caption for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of caption for Arabic Speakers

Comments on caption

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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