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 Story and Photos by Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press Show captionAn empty stool marks the spot for the class of 2020 who have missed out on many rites of passage due to the coronavirus pandemic., "Metro Detroit high schoolers share memories, challenges and dreams amid pandemic," 17 May 2020 The notes and captions throughout also express his upbeat experiences. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Book review: ‘A Year at Brandywine Cottage’ reveals a beloved garden over the seasons," 15 Apr. 2020 Show caption Eight of the nine students who were wounded on May 4, 1970, attend the annual commemoration ceremony on May 4, 1985. Kerry Clawson,, "Kent State shootings: Tired of telling his story, survivor refocused attention on student activism," 2 May 2020 Sometimes photos are reposted out of context, or with false captions about the year, place, and event at which they were taken. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "Fake news 101: A guide to help sniff out the truth," 30 Apr. 2020 Each part of the document, from the chart captions to the annotations, must be preserved for the A.I. technologies reviewing them to work well. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "How A.I. may make sense of 50,000 coronavirus research papers," 28 Apr. 2020 Please send your photos to, along with some caption information about your camp. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Tell Us About Your Hunting and Fishing Camp," 25 Apr. 2020 According to the caption, the baby ducks had gotten separated from their mom and needed help finding her in Memorial Park. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "This Houston Police Officer Escorting Tiny Ducklings to Safety is Just Too Cute," 14 Apr. 2020 In the caption, Minhaj acknowledged the coronavirus pandemic before reflecting on the positive news of his son being born. Katherine Schaffstall, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hasan Minhaj and Wife Beena Patel Welcome Son," 20 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 In response, Wilson has been broadcasting the effects of this news on his Instagram, showing his guaranteed-line-outside business now empty and championing his neighbors with posts of his meals captioned with #supportchinatown. Wilson Tang, Bon Appétit, "“If I Can Eat in Chinatown, So Can You”," 5 Mar. 2020 Kylie captioned the pic with a pair of emojis, tagging celeb stylist Jesus Guerrero in the snap. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Shows Off Extra-Long Braid on Instagram," 1 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

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 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

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!