re·​cap·​ture | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈkap-chər How to pronounce recapture (audio) \

Definition of recapture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act of retaking
b : an instance of being retaken
2 : the retaking of a prize or goods under international law
3 : a government seizure under law of earnings or profits beyond a fixed amount


recaptured; recapturing; recaptures

Definition of recapture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to capture again
b : to experience again by no effort of the imagination could she recapture the ecstasy— Ellen Glasgow
2 : to take (something, such as a portion of earnings or profits above a fixed amount) by law or through negotiations under law

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Examples of recapture in a Sentence

Noun the recapture of the territory may take longer than expected Verb The guards recaptured the escaped prisoner. The soldiers recaptured the hill they had lost the day before. In the final lap of the race, he recaptured the lead. They are trying to recapture those happy times they had together. The documentary recaptures the social tensions of the 1960s.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The impact showed up clearly in 2018, when a surge of youth voting was key to Democrats’ recapture of the majority in the House. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: Young people’s political engagement is surging. That’s a problem for Republicans," 23 Apr. 2021 Then there is a five year period where the credit might be subject to recapture. Peter J Reilly, Forbes, "New York AG Supports Community Group In Battle With AIG Over Tax Credit Property," 21 Apr. 2021 How much will the district pay in recapture this year? Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "What Allen residents need to know about the attendance credit election before heading to the polls," 8 Apr. 2021 In northern Iraq the response to the referendum of 2017, in which 90% voted for independence, saw Iraqi forces, backed by Iran, recapture about a third of the territory then in Kurdish hands, including Kirkuk and its oilfields. The Economist, "The Kurdish spring did not happen," 10 Apr. 2021 The Department of Revenue's recapture program was expanded more than two decades ago to help hospitals that were facing a financial burden from providing care to uninsured and underinsured patients. Jessie Van Berkel, Star Tribune, "Minnesota legislators push to end state collection of tax refunds for private hospital debt," 24 Mar. 2021 One month after the recapture of Seoul, First Division Marines returned home to San Diego after more than nine months fighting in Korea. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Seoul changed hands 70 years ago," 14 Mar. 2021 Allen ISD is seeking voter approval to purchase attendance credit from the Texas Education Agency with local tax revenue — its process of paying recapture since 2011. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "Here’s what Allen voters can expect to see on their ballots next month," 4 Mar. 2021 The centrist Republican Main Street Partnership plans to invest $25 million in swing House districts in 2022 to help the GOP recapture Congress and halt the advance of conservative provocateurs loyal to former President Donald Trump. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Centrist GOP group promises $25M to win back Congress," 20 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now, after four years of hyperpolarization under President Trump and one extraordinary season of sometimes violent protest focused on race and policing, that credulous flirtation with the audacity of hope seems impossible to recapture. Thomas Chatterton Williams, WSJ, "Beyond Black History Month," 26 Feb. 2021 There are plenty of spots to fill as Northwestern looks to recapture the West division championship. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Big Ten spring football preview: Ohio State is in the driver's seat; Indiana needs healthy QB," 22 Feb. 2021 Trump left office last month after a single term, having lost to President Biden and watched the Democrats recapture control of the House and Senate on his watch. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Local GOP officials closing the tent to Trump apostates," 16 Feb. 2021 Since then the town’s population has dwindled, from nearly 5,000 to less than 3,000, and there is a yearning to recapture some of its railroad past and buttress its tourist economy. New York Times, "In Rural Montana, a Hope That Biden Will Reopen the Rails," 24 Jan. 2021 Oladipo could still recapture some of his All-NBA form and be a significant asset for the Heat. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "With Victor Oladipo coming back to Indy, it's time to ask: Who won Oladipo-LeVert trade?," 31 Mar. 2021 The event comes in the final stretch before the Nov. 3 election with Trump running out of time to recapture control of the race. John Fritze, David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Trump hopes to turn COVID diagnosis into an asset as he rallies in Pennsylvania, ramps up schedule," 14 Oct. 2020 To recapture that form, Maddon figured Ohtani had to rediscover something more fundamental. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Joe Maddon nurturing Shohei Ohtani’s two-way promise with ‘play baseball’ approach," 5 Apr. 2021 But soon, pandemic-era wrestling buffs in Central Indiana will have the chance to recapture that feeling again among fellow fans. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "Martinsville to get free drive-in screening of WWE Stone Cold Steve Austin 'Biography'," 30 Mar. 2021

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


1752, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1799, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for recapture

Time Traveler

The first known use of recapture was in 1752

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Statistics for recapture

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recapture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for recapture



English Language Learners Definition of recapture

: to catch (someone or something that has escaped)
: to gain control of (a place or position) again after losing it
: to experience or bring back (a feeling, quality, or situation) again


re·​cap·​ture | \ ˌrē-ˈkap-chər How to pronounce recapture (audio) \
recaptured; recapturing

Kids Definition of recapture

1 : to regain possession of Soldiers recaptured the fort.
2 : to experience again I wish I could recapture my youth.


transitive verb
re·​cap·​ture | \ ˌrē-ˈkap-chər \
recaptured; recapturing

Legal Definition of recapture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to capture again
2 : to recover or take (as an excess or gain) by law or agreement especially : to recover (a tax benefit) by higher or additional taxation of income or property that ceases to qualify for a credit or deduction or by taxing gain realized from the sale or exchange of such property the government recaptured the depreciation by taxing the gain resulting from the difference between the sale price and the basis after depreciation



Legal Definition of recapture (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of recapturing
2 : an amount recaptured or subject to recapture

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