cap·​tor | \ ˈkap-tər How to pronounce captor (audio) , -ˌtȯr\

Definition of captor

: one that has captured a person or thing

Examples of captor in a Sentence

The men fought their captors and escaped.

Recent Examples on the Web

Kidnap victim Kimberly Endicott was released, unharmed, by her captors after five days. Tom Hanscom, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Wildlife rebound in Uganda," 11 July 2019 Nadia tried to run away, but each time her captors caught and beat her. Arwa Damon, CNN, "They escaped ISIS. Then they got sucked into Baghdad's sex trafficking underworld," 3 July 2019 Her captors had given her a few quarters to make a payphone call to her family. Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, "Victim recounts 1995 Hillsborough kidnapping: ‘I thought I was going to die’," 28 June 2019 Her captor allowed her to leave the apartment once every six months. Julie Zaugg, CNN, "These North Korean defectors were sold into China as cybersex slaves. Then they escaped," 9 June 2019 The captors are said to have killed her child early in the journey. Barbara Cutter, Smithsonian, "The Gruesome Story of Hannah Duston, Whose Slaying of Indians Made Her an American Folk “Hero”," 9 Apr. 2018 Or captors can create an open duct from the bear’s gallbladder to its abdomen, allowing the bile to drip freely. National Geographic, "Bear bile, explained," 12 June 2019 Daily Show’-like comedy news program in Iraq, says he was kidnapped by al Qaeda and made his captors laugh. Don Steinberg, WSJ, "The Rules of Comedy in Iraq," 13 Feb. 2019 Children fathered by their Muslim captors posed a more complex challenge. Isabel Coles And, WSJ, "Nisreen’s Choice: Women Rescued From Islamic State Are Told to Leave Children Behind," 23 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'captor.' 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 captor

circa 1688, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for captor

Late Latin, from Latin capere

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Statistics for captor

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for captor

The first known use of captor was circa 1688

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More Definitions for captor



English Language Learners Definition of captor

: someone who has captured a person and is keeping that person as a prisoner


cap·​tor | \ ˈkap-tər How to pronounce captor (audio) \

Kids Definition of captor

: someone who has captured a person or thing

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More from Merriam-Webster on captor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with captor

Spanish Central: Translation of captor

Nglish: Translation of captor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of captor for Arabic Speakers

Comments on captor

What made you want to look up captor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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