cap·​ture | \ ˈkap-chər How to pronounce capture (audio) , -shər \

Definition of capture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of capturing: such as
a : an act of catching, winning, or gaining control by force, stratagem, or guile the capture of the city by enemy forces
b : a move in a board game (such as chess or checkers) that gains an opponent's piece
c : the absorption by an atom, nucleus, or particle of a subatomic particle that often results in subsequent emission of radiation or in fission
d : the act of recording in a permanent file data capture motion capture
2 : one that has been taken (such as a prize ship)


captured; capturing\ ˈkap-​chə-​riŋ How to pronounce capture (audio) , ˈkap-​shriŋ \

Definition of capture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to take captive also : to gain control of especially by force capture a city
b : to gain or win especially through effort captured 60 percent of the vote
2a : to emphasize, represent, or preserve (something, such as a scene, mood, or quality) in a more or less permanent form … at any such moment as a photograph might capture— C. E. Montague
b : to record in a permanent file (as in a computer) The system is used to capture data relating to the buying habits of young people.
3 : to captivate and hold the interest of The performer captured our attention.
4 : to take according to the rules of a game A knight captured his pawn.
5 : to bring about the capture of (a subatomic particle)
6 astronomy : to draw into the gravitational influence of a larger body Asteroids were thought to be too small to capture a moon, but the moon might be a fragment that broke off.— Kenneth Chang

Other Words from capture


capturable \ ˈkap-​chə-​rə-​bəl How to pronounce capture (audio) , -​shrə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for capture

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for capture


catch, capture, trap, snare, entrap, ensnare, bag mean to come to possess or control by or as if by seizing. catch implies the seizing of something in motion or in flight or in hiding. caught the dog as it ran by capture suggests taking by overcoming resistance or difficulty. capture an enemy stronghold trap, snare, entrap, ensnare imply seizing by some device that holds the one caught at the mercy of the captor. trap and snare apply more commonly to physical seizing. trap animals snared butterflies with a net entrap and ensnare more often are figurative. entrapped the witness with a trick question a sting operation that ensnared burglars bag implies shooting down a fleeing or distant prey. bagged a brace of pheasants

Examples of capture in a Sentence

Noun the capture of the city by enemy forces a Spanish treasure ship was the most valuable capture ever taken by that privateer Verb They were captured by enemy soldiers. using traps to capture mice The city was captured by the Romans. She captured 60 percent of the vote in the last election. The company plans on capturing a larger segment of the market. The show has captured the attention of teenagers. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Carbon capture and storage technologies have been in development for decades with both enthusiastic supporters and skeptics. Zayna Syed, The Arizona Republic, 22 Apr. 2022 And Russia has declared the capture of the Donbas to be its main goal in the war after attempts to take the capital of Kyiv failed. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2022 In fact, Stripe Climate financed nearly 10% of Climeworks’ new direct air capture plant. Felicia Jackson, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 The world’s largest direct air capture plant, launched in 2021 in Iceland, uses geothermal energy to power its equipment. Stacy Morford, The Conversation, 4 Apr. 2022 Floating ocean platforms equipped with direct air capture machines, like one operating now in Iceland, would pipe the CO2 gas into basalt formations that lie 350 feet below the seafloor. Eric Niiler, WSJ, 6 Mar. 2022 To wit, in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill signed by President Biden in November, $3.5 billion is earmarked for the construction of direct air capture hubs around the country. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 1 Mar. 2022 Carbon removal is essential to achieving global carbon neutrality, say experts, but the direct air capture technology is still too expensive for widespread adoption without government subsidies. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Oct. 2021 Last fall the prestigious film school opened the Howard P. Fitzpatrick Pavilion, a new-media and technology center with a post-production center, an immersive media lab and a motion-capture area. Nick Clement, Variety, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This service moves the money each month to different online saving accounts to capture the best interest rates. Larry Light, Fortune, 11 May 2022 Veteran astrophotographers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre — both former editors of Sky & Telescope magazine — will share their tips and tricks on how to best capture the total lunar eclipse using a cellphone or digital camera. Globe Staff,, 11 May 2022 Boerne Champion senior Max Cavazos shot 5-under-par for a two-round 139 to capture second place in the UIL Class 5A state tournament held at White Wing Golf Club. David Hinojosa, San Antonio Express-News, 11 May 2022 West Boca has won six straight games and nine of 10 contests, including a 7-0 victory against Park Vista — who also won on Tuesday night — to capture the district championship. Sun Sentinel, 11 May 2022 Arcane Research assigned a numeric score between 1 and -1 to capture the pricing correlation between Bitcoin and the Nasdaq. New York Times, 11 May 2022 His determination to capture the naturalistic, unpremeditated aspects of his subjects made his work pulse with a startling sense of life. The New Yorker, 11 May 2022 In their first success of the Donbas offensive, Russian forces in mid-April seized the town of Kreminna near Severodonetsk and then for the past three weeks have fought urban battles to capture the city of Rubizhne just northwest of here. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 10 May 2022 Joswiak said Apple's other products — including its HomePod mini smart speaker and iPad tablet — capture the essence of what the company set out to achieve with the iPod. Jason Duaine Hahn,, 10 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'capture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of capture


circa 1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for capture


Middle French, from Latin captura, from captus — see captive entry 1

Learn More About capture

Time Traveler for capture

Time Traveler

The first known use of capture was circa 1542

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Statistics for capture

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Capture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for capture


cap·​ture | \ ˈkap-chər How to pronounce capture (audio) \
captured; capturing

Kids Definition of capture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to take and hold especially by force The eagle captured its prey.
2 : to win or get through effort The candidate captured more than half the vote.
3 : to get and hold The seaweed strewn about … had captured her attention.— Kevin Henkes, Olive's Ocean
4 : to put into a lasting form She captured the scene in a photo.



Kids Definition of capture (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of taking and holding especially by force

More from Merriam-Webster on capture

Nglish: Translation of capture for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of capture for Arabic Speakers


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