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.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from caption


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

Synonyms for caption

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of caption in a Sentence

Noun 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 The caption incorrectly called it Chevron’s corporate headquarters. WSJ, "Continue reading your article with a WSJ membership," 30 June 2020 L'Oreal Paris stated its solidarity with the Black community and its stance against injustice in the caption attached to the Instagram post. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: An adviser for L'Oreal did not release message critical of white people," 30 June 2020 In his caption for the retweet, Trump addressed the supporters and not the remark that was made. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "'Said they were 'great'': Biden compares Trump's 'white power' retweet to Charlottesville remarks," 28 June 2020 Jordan also commemorated the day on Instagram with the same photo and a slightly different caption. Lia Beck,, "Bachelorette Stars JoJo & Jordan Are On Hold Just Like The Rest Of Us," 22 June 2020 In this case, many people felt that Stacey’s delayed order did not warrant tears nor the sympathy Ann expressed in the caption of her tweet. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Georgia cop gets nickname ‘Officer Karen’ after crying over her botched McDonald’s order in viral video," 17 June 2020 In a post to Instagram Monday, Kloots shared a photo of herself in a face mask and a caption urging her followers to take the virus seriously. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "Nick Cordero hits day 75 in hospital, wife Amanda Kloots urges people to take coronavirus seriously," 17 June 2020 The two met and snapped a photo together, which Ali posted to Instagram with a caption that would change Mir's life. Majid Maqbool, CNN, "Tariq Mir, Jammu and Kashmir's Tyrion Lannister lookalike, dreams of Bollywood stardom," 12 June 2020 The caption was followed by three American flags with a picture of large groups of Muslims in prayer. Midland Reporter-telegram, Houston Chronicle, "Petition demands removal of Odessa school board member who shared anti-Semitic, racist posts," 9 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb New York City artist Untitled Queen embraced the new possibilities of pre-recorded video performances, particularly in terms of being able to caption everything for deaf and hard of hearing audiences who rarely get to fully enjoy drag shows. NBC News, "An oral history of drag post-coronavirus: 'Nothing's ever going to be the same'," 10 June 2020 How @obj thought spanking the cop was gonna go,’’ Garrett captioned the tweet. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr. and Myles Garrett trade good-natured jabs on Twitter," 18 May 2020 The Americans with Disabilities Act requires specific numbers of wheelchair spaces, captioning and audio description equipment in movie theaters, depending on their seating capacity. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, "How One Movie Theater Has Led the Way on Hiring Staff With Disabilities," 5 Mar. 2020 Her captioned the image with a simple black heart emoji. Neha Prakash, Marie Claire, "Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner's Baby: Everything We Know So Far," 14 Feb. 2020 In one post on Instagram, Bey captioned a now-famous image of Bryant on the sidelines at a Lakers game, kissing his daughter Gianna on the head. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Beyonce Remembers Kobe Bryant: 'You Are Deeply Missed'," 30 Jan. 2020 One nurse captioned a photograph of Kelly on Facebook with a hashtag: #GetUsPPEs. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "The Race to Keep Health Care Workers Protected from Covid-19," 27 Mar. 2020 Microsoft has also shown off a feature to blur out the background of a video chat and add live captioning, à la YouTube. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Now That You Work from Home, You'll Need a Way to Snack Safely During Video Calls," 20 Mar. 2020 There are captioned telephones for those who have documented hearing impairment. Shafaq Zia, STAT, "Q&A: How to care for the elderly without putting them at risk of coronavirus," 12 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about caption

Time Traveler for caption

Time Traveler

The first known use of caption was circa 1670

See more words from the same year

Statistics for caption

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for caption


How to pronounce caption (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!