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

The caption included only two hashtags: #GivenchyFamily and #arivenchy. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Ariana Grande Is Givenchy’s Newest Face," 10 May 2019 Let’s make social media a space to share meaningful conversations—not just filtered photos and perfect captions. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "This Instagram Campaign Wants to Change How We Use Social Media," 2 May 2019 Judging by the pose and caption, some fans assumed that Amy may be expecting her first child. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Amy Schumer Says She's Not Pregnant, But 'Thank You for Thinking of My Womb'," 12 July 2018 That means coming up with a caption, which can be the hardest part of crafting an Instagram post. Nicol Natale, Woman's Day, "22 Perfect Mother's Day Puns to Use for Your Instagram Post," 3 Apr. 2019 Smaller features being added include live captions and subtitles, and secured private channels. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft Teams taps AI to boost new background, whiteboarding features," 19 Mar. 2019 Listen, captions are the hardest part of posting an Instagram. Nicol Natale, Woman's Day, "70+ Valentine's Day Captions for Every Kind of Instagram Post," 10 Jan. 2019 Keep scrolling for all the best Instagram captions for outfit photos. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "30 Best Fashion Captions That Will Score Major Likes on Instagram," 15 Mar. 2019 Earlier, Jack's younger sister Sophie, 18, uploaded her own emotional photo and caption. Kaitlin Menza, Woman's Day, "Luke Perry's Children Posted Tributes to Their Dad on Instagram," 6 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Lopez captioned the jet-setting self-portrait, casually leaning onto a plush beige leather seat with a classic black Birkin dangling from her nude manicured hand. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez Pulls the Ultimate Beauty Power Move at the Airport," 7 Nov. 2018 But as Roman’s fans and followers tried the recipe, posting the baking process, finished cookies and even baking questions to their Instagram Stories, Roman smartly screen-grabbed, captioned and re-posted a handful at a time. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "‘Stories’ was Instagram’s smartest move yet," 8 Aug. 2018 The above and below galleries, which were taken at my own box-opening event at a Microsoft PR office in downtown Seattle, are captioned with explanations of what exactly is different about this box. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Forward-box: Xbox Adaptive Controller’s packaging is a good Microsoft move," 25 July 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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Dictionary Entries near caption





caption code



Statistics for caption

Last Updated

15 May 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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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