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cap·​tion ˈkap-shən How to pronounce caption (audio)
: the part of a legal document that shows where, when, and by what authority it was taken, found, or executed
: the heading especially of an article or document : title
: the explanatory comment or designation accompanying a pictorial illustration
read the caption for the names of the people in the picture
: a movie or television show subtitle
captionless adjective


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captioned; captioning ˈkap-sh(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce caption (audio) ; captions

transitive verb

: to furnish with a caption
… confirm that photographs are correctly captioned and pages numbered sequentially.Publishers Weekly
… the captions and pictures are frequently out of sync, and the live local weather and sports segments are usually not captioned.Melvia M. and Ronald E. Nomeland

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
Pull up a chair, and enjoy the wide range of holiday captions. Jorie Nicole McDonald, Southern Living, 7 Feb. 2024 Google’s Universal Speech Model also translates around 100 languages and is already deployed on YouTube to translate captions. Emilia David, The Verge, 5 Feb. 2024 Her Instagram is full of smooching selfies, candid captions about intolerable plane trips and glamorous photos of Stewart mingling with celebrities like Serena Williams at exclusive galas. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 3 Feb. 2024 Because of an editing error, a picture caption with an article on Friday about a new reconstruction plan for the Port Authority incorrectly described a rendering. New York Times, 3 Feb. 2024 For Halloween this year, the Dawson's Creek alum, 46, showed off his six kids' picks for costumes on Instagram, penning a lengthy caption about the holiday. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 29 Jan. 2024 The caption was shared beneath a video of Timberlake during a recent segment on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 29 Jan. 2024 The caption also misstated the building’s current function. New York Times, 26 Jan. 2024 This digital frame is super customizable, featuring a clock, a weather report, brightness adjustments, ability to add photo captions, and more. Maddie Michalik, Travel + Leisure, 25 Jan. 2024
Randi captioned the clip, adding a location tag of the NFL Honors, indicating that the fun moment was from her attendance at the Thursday event. Jenny Haward, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 Chloe captioned the TikTok, which appeared to have been filmed in a hotel room, with a series of crying with laughter emojis. Nathan Vinson, Peoplemag, 22 Jan. 2024 Agassi captioned a carousel of photos and video from the event on Instagram. Esme Mazzeo, Peoplemag, 15 Jan. 2024 As the photos in the slideshow played, Inaba captioned each shot with a different phrase. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 6 Jan. 2024 Robert captioned a close-up black-and-white photo of the newborns on Instagram. Tabitha Britt, Peoplemag, 19 Dec. 2023 For Foxx, who is deaf, that meant making sure the post supervisor had productivity tools such as captioning on early movie cuts and video conferences as well as interpreters available virtually on-demand through contracts with third-party ASL interpretation services. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Dec. 2023 Kotb captioned the tribute to Hager, who turned 42 on Saturday. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 7 Dec. 2023 In May 2022, the company announced an AI model called Gato capable of learning to do a wide range of tasks, including playing Atari games, captioning images, and using a robotic arm to stack blocks. Will Knight, WIRED, 6 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'caption.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

probably short for certificate of caption (taking, seizure)

First Known Use


circa 1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1848, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of caption was circa 1670

Dictionary Entries Near caption

Cite this Entry

“Caption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the heading especially of an article or document
: the explanation or description accompanying a pictorial illustration (as a cartoon or photograph)
caption verb

Legal Definition


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on caption

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