cap·tion | \ˈkap-shən \

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\-sh(ə-)niŋ \

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 \-ləs \ adjective

Synonyms for caption

Synonyms: Noun

head, header, heading, headline, rubric, title

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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

Fenugreek seed, as Mowry also mentioned in her Instagram caption, has been touted as a magical milk supply booster The seed is ground into capsules, powders, teas, and liquid extracts. Taylyn Washington-harmon, SELF, "Tia Mowry Says These Foods Help Keep Up Her Milk Supply," 22 June 2018 Submit your own caption, along with your name, hometown, and phone number, by e-mailing, "Planet MBTA," 7 June 2018 An earlier version of this article misspelled the city’s name in a photo caption. Oliver Griffin, WSJ, "Like Your Steak Aged 36 Months? Try 17 Years," 10 July 2018 After being deemed unfit to travel for a Zenit training camp last year, Dzyuba posted an obligatory gym photo on Instagram, with a caption that included nothing more than William Henley’s ‘Invictus’. Glorious insanity., "Surprise World Cup Stars: Artem Dzyuba – The Russian Peter Crouch With an Infectious Smile," 9 July 2018 The simple caption thanked fans for the birthday messages—and also subtly acknowledged the past week's events. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Mark Steines Breaks Social Media Silence Following Hallmark Channel Firing," 8 June 2018 According to the caption, Magee is deadlifting 605 pounds — an enormous amount, even for the 6-foot-5, 323-pound lineman. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "LSU lineman deadlifts 605 pounds in video that should scare opponents," 13 July 2018 Current Time 0:00 / Duration 0:00 Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% Stream Type LIVE Remaining Time -0:00 1x Chapters descriptions off, selected captions and subtitles off, selected This is a modal window. Zoe Harris, Marie Claire, "Kim Kardashian, North, and Kris Jenner Star in Fendi's New Campaign," 9 July 2018 According to the caption, the rest of Dion's look is made up of an asymmetrical JW Anderson dress, blue Saint Lauren heels, round Dior sunglasses, and a Gucci scarf tied around a green Hermès bag. Marci Robin, Allure, "Celine Dion Looks Like a Different Person With Super-Blonde Bangs," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fisher captioned an image of his son sitting on his lap while watching Underwood perform on stage. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Carrie Underwood Shares Sweet Mother-Son Photo of Her Boy's First Concert," 30 June 2018 After extended exposure to the darkest of subreddits, Norman was trained to perform image captioning so that the AI could produce image descriptions in writing about the Rorschach inkblot images that would follow. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "MIT Scientists Create 'Psychopath' AI Named Norman," 7 June 2018 Court reporters are hired to document legal depositions and provide closed captioning services. Laura Crimaldi,, "Era comes to an end as state ends its use of court reporters," 27 June 2018 El Moussa captioned an Instagram video taken at the car dealership. Eileen Reslen, House Beautiful, "Tarek El Moussa Just Bought His Nanny a Luxury Car for Her Birthday," 14 June 2018 Almond porridge, vanilla almond bliss balls and bright pink smoothie bowls all artfully photographed and wittingly captioned; her first posts all included a bit of oats — an ingredient that still makes a frequent appearance until this day. NBC News, "How one woman turned getting fired into a six-figure business," 30 Apr. 2018 Foster captioned a shot of himself lounging in a white button-down shirt, khaki shorts and sunglasses, giving photo credit to his new fiancée. Sarah Michaud,, "Katharine McPhee and David Foster are engaged," 3 July 2018 More than 1 million Arizonans have some form of hearing loss – captioning ensures more people can enjoy our events. Caitlin Hartman, azcentral, "Hear from journalists at Arizona Storytellers: Stories about Stories on July 17," 17 June 2018 But on Instagram, even that which is purportedly honest has often been thoughtfully selected, filtered, and captioned. Lindsey Lanquist, SELF, "Do Yourself a Favor and Follow My Best Friend’s Mom on Instagram," 25 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


probably short for certificate of caption (taking, seizure)


see caption entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near caption





caption code



Statistics for caption

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of caption

: a comment or title that goes with a picture


cap·tion | \ˈkap-shən \

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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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).


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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