• synonyms


[kap-shuh n]
See more synonyms for caption on Thesaurus.com
  1. a title or explanation for a picture or illustration, especially in a magazine.
  2. a heading or title, as of a chapter, article, or page.
  3. Movies, Television. the title of a scene, the text of a speech, etc., superimposed on the film and projected onto the screen.
  4. Law. the heading of a legal document stating the time, place, etc., of execution or performance.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to supply a caption or captions for; entitle: to caption a photograph.
Show More

Origin of caption

1350–1400; Middle English capcio(u)n seizure < Latin captiōn- (stem of captiō), equivalent to capt(us) taken (see captive) + -iōn- -ion
Related formscap·tion·less, adjectivemis·cap·tion, verb (used with object)sub·cap·tion, nounsu·per·cap·tion, nounun·cap·tioned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for caption

inscription, subtitle, head, title, explanation, legend, rubric, underline

Examples from the Web for caption

Contemporary Examples of caption

Historical Examples of caption

British Dictionary definitions for caption


  1. a title, brief explanation, or comment accompanying an illustration; legend
  2. a heading, title, or headline of a chapter, article, etc
  3. graphic material, usually containing lettering, used in television presentation
  4. another name for subtitle (def. 2)
  5. the formal heading of a legal document stating when, where, and on what authority it was taken or made
Show More
  1. to provide with a caption or captions
Show More

Word Origin for caption

C14 (meaning: seizure, an arrest; later, heading of a legal document): from Latin captiō a seizing, from capere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for caption


late 14c., "taking, seizure," from Old French capcion "arrest, capture, imprisonment," or directly from Latin captionem (nominative capito) "a catching, seizing, holding, taking," noun of action from past participle stem of capere "to take" (see capable).

From 17c. used especially in law, and there via its appearance at the head of legal document involving seizure ("Certificate of caption", etc.), the word's sense was extended to "the beginning of any document;" thus "heading of a chapter or section of an article" (1789), and, especially in U.S., "description or title below an illustration" (1919).

Show More

by 1901, from caption (n.). Related: Captioned; captioning.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper