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 Walsh said it's been fun to watch people stop by the windows, listen to Tchaikovsky's music piping through the speakers, and read each caption telling the story. Sheila Regan Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "'Nutcracker Fantasy' plays out in the windows of a North Loop landmark," 4 Dec. 2020 Followers are encouraged to message links to and screenshots of any listings that might be the right fit for this fantastically strange Instagram account, and Mezrahi makes sure to credit the Instagram user in the caption. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, "Zillow Gone Wild Features The Craziest Real Estate Listings on Its Instagram Account," 6 Jan. 2021 Kardashian West shared several posts from the small family gathering, including a series of close-up outfit photos, thanking Roseberry in the caption. Hanna Flanagan,, "Kim Kardashian Wore a Superhero-Style Leather Bodice with Six-Pack Abs on Christmas," 28 Dec. 2020 According to the video's caption, the audio was copyrighted in 2012 and posted to YouTube in 2015. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Viral TikTok alters Army Band's music to 'Hit the Road Jack'," 20 Jan. 2021 Lipa has since deleted that caption so as to not mislead her fans further. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Dua Lipa Isn't Pregnant, She Just Used Some Really Confusing Emojis," 19 Jan. 2021 Then, another fan looked a little closer at an Instagram Taylor posted with the lyrics as the caption and saw that there is a string tied around her ring finger... Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "6 Signs That Taylor Swift Is Engaged To Longtime Boyfriend Joe Alwyn," 4 Dec. 2020 The caption wondered how anyone could believe Biden actually won the election without massive cheating. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Election integrity, independents in the Legislature, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson," 23 Nov. 2020 Jordan, 33, posted two backlit portraits of them smiling at one another, no caption necessary. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Michael B. Jordan and Lori Harvey Make It Instagram Official," 11 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bieber did not caption his holiday post, but many fans commented and showed adoration for the lovebirds. Darlene Aderoju,, "Sneak a Peek Inside Justin Bieber's New Year's Eve Rehearsals Before Secret Venue Is Revealed," 30 Dec. 2020 Bieber did not caption his Christmas Eve post, but many fans commented to share kind words and holiday greetings. Darlene Aderoju,, "Justin Bieber Shares Cozy, Canoodling Christmas Eve Photo with Wife Hailey Baldwin," 25 Dec. 2020 Charles didn't caption the photo, which shows Diana standing with her arm around her little brother. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Princess Diana's Brother, Charles Spencer, Shared a Rare Photo From Their Childhood," 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, "47 Best Instagram Captions for Couples to Use on Photos With Your Special Someone," 10 Oct. 2020 Use these quotes to caption your best fall Instagram photos. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Best Fall Quotes to Help You Celebrate the Season," 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, "YouTube celebrates Deaf Awareness Week by killing crowd-sourced captions," 28 Sep. 2020 The grieving mother did not caption the tribute, as many of her followers left condolences in the post's comment section. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "Frank Ocean's Mom Katonya Breaux Mourns Son Ryan, 18, Who Died in Car Crash," 6 Aug. 2020 Choosing to simply caption the slideshow with a surfing emoji, brother Rob Kardashian responded in the comments section with a string of blue hearts. Maria Pasquini,, "Kim Kardashian Shares Photograph with Husband Kanye West During Family Outing with Daughter North," 23 Aug. 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

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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