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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Biden administration instituted the $38 million program to push farms to plant crops that limit soil erosion and capture carbon as a means to address climate change. cleveland, 11 Jan. 2022 Replacing old processes with automation will create an overall better client experience, leading to higher retention and capture. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 The resulting larger estimates of how much space old trees occupy have contributed to his discoveries about their heightened carbon-capture abilities. Jonny Diamond, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Jan. 2022 The US Marshals Service, Memphis Police Department, Crime Stoppers and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to Johnson's capture. Amir Vera, Chris Boyette And Jessica Jordan, CNN, 5 Jan. 2022 Do this over a medium bowl in the sink to maximize juice capture and minimize mess. Lindsey Greenfeld,, 3 Jan. 2022 It’s the Irwins History is made at the Australia Zoo when Robert and the team attempt their largest alligator capture and relocation. Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2022 Detectives believe Abel Acosta is actively evading capture and need the public’s assistance in locating him. NBC News, 29 Dec. 2021 Adding carbon capture for blue hydrogen raises the price to $2.40/kg. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, 29 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Scientists hope Webb can capture light streaming from stars and galaxies as far back as 13.7 billion years ago. Editors, USA TODAY, 9 Jan. 2022 Crew members from nearby SeaWorld were called to the scene to help capture the animal. Michael Hollan, Fox News, 8 Jan. 2022 With the help of native Inuit hunters, who have been stalking narwhals for their meat and blubber for centuries, the researchers were able to live-capture a herd of six male narwhals in the Scoresby Sound fjord system of East Greenland. Ashley Stimpson, Popular Mechanics, 7 Jan. 2022 Iglesias’ sweeping, romantic scores have helped capture the outsized intimacy that has become a staple of the filmmaker’s late career offerings, including Oscar-winning films like All About My Mother and Talk to Her. Manuel Betancourt, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Jan. 2022 Even now as regulators seek to implement policies to monetize and capture the benefits connected to cryptoassets, stablecoins are routinely lumped in with more volatility counterparts. Sean Stein Smith, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 The gameplay loop can become redundant after defeating thousands of enemies, but every so often a series of events will capture that cinematic quality for a moment. New York Times, 2 Jan. 2022 Cast Iron Cast irons capture heat beautifully and are one of the most reliable, sturdy pans out there. Samantha Rees, Vogue, 31 Dec. 2021 Despite a lack of experience working on TV, Yee says their familiarity and experience with the game helped the show capture the essence of it. Rafael Motamayor, Vulture, 29 Dec. 2021

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.

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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

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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 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Capture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for capture



English Language Learners Definition of capture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act of taking and holding someone as a prisoner or of being taken as a prisoner
: the act of getting control of something
: the act of putting information in a form that a computer can use or read



English Language Learners Definition of capture (Entry 2 of 2)

: to take and hold (someone) as a prisoner especially by using force
: to catch (an animal)
: to get control of (a place) especially by using force


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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