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 caption (audio) \; captions

Definition of caption (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from caption


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

Synonyms for caption

Synonyms: Noun

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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 There are nearly 1 million #jumprope posts on Instagram, and more than 896 million views on TikTok videos with the caption #jumprope. Janelle Davis, CNN, 6 June 2021 The trick here is not to come across salesy in the caption and disrupt the allure. Stephanie Burns, Forbes, 28 May 2021 In the caption, James, 29, explained that the organization — which aims to create experiences for children and families in the city who are experiencing food insecurity — is starting a program to teach students financial literacy. Katie Campione,, 27 May 2021 In one video post that has been liked more than 1.3 million times, the caption says results can be seen in a month if done for five minutes a day. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, 26 May 2021 But in the caption, Hemsworth revealed that the cape belonged to another superhero entirely. Andrea Towers,, 25 May 2021 The video’s caption indicates that the unnatural food is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos; spider monkeys in the wild subsist mostly on fruit. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 25 May 2021 Additionally, the caption of the post implies that because of the prior lawsuits, Pfizer's coronavirus vaccines may not be safe, which is false. Adrienne Dunn, USA TODAY, 20 May 2021 The caption incorrectly said the bombers belonged to the U.S. Air Force, which didn’t exist in 1943. WSJ, 20 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Drew now takes the time to caption all her social media videos. Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2021 Teams only offers transcriptions in English, and Google Meet can caption English, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish (Mexico and Spain). Coral Murphy Marcos, USA TODAY, 25 Feb. 2021 Bieber did not caption his holiday post, but many fans commented and showed adoration for the lovebirds. Darlene Aderoju,, 30 Dec. 2020 Bieber did not caption his Christmas Eve post, but many fans commented to share kind words and holiday greetings. Darlene Aderoju,, 25 Dec. 2020 Charles didn't caption the photo, which shows Diana standing with her arm around her little brother. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, 9 Nov. 2020 Choose your favorite cute couples caption, share the photo with your followers, and watch the likes roll in! Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, 10 Oct. 2020 Use these quotes to caption your best fall Instagram photos. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Oct. 2020 Once enabled by a channel owner, the Community Contributions feature would let viewers caption or translate a video and submit it to the channel for approval. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 28 Sep. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for caption

Time Traveler

The first known use of caption was circa 1670

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Statistics for caption

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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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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