[ kap-cher ]
See synonyms for: capturecapturedcapturescapturing on

verb (used with object),cap·tured, cap·tur·ing.
  1. to take by force or stratagem; take prisoner; seize: The police captured the burglar.

  2. to gain control of or exert influence over: an ad that captured our attention;a TV show that captured 30% of the prime-time audience.

  1. to take possession of, as in a game or contest: to capture a pawn in chess.

  2. to represent or record in lasting form: The movie succeeded in capturing the atmosphere of Berlin in the 1930s.

  3. Computers.

    • to enter (data) into a computer for processing or storage.

    • to record (data) in preparation for such entry.

  1. the act of capturing.

  2. the thing or person captured.

  1. Physics. the process in which an atomic or nuclear system acquires an additional particle.

  2. Crystallography. substitution in a crystal lattice of a trace element for an element of lower valence.

Origin of capture

First recorded in 1535–45; from Middle French, from Latin captūra, equivalent to capt(us) “taken” (past participle of capere “to take”) + -ūra -ure

Other words for capture

Opposites for capture

Other words from capture

  • cap·tur·a·ble, adjective
  • cap·tur·er, noun
  • pre·cap·ture, adjective, verb (used with object), pre·cap·tured, pre·cap·tur·ing.
  • un·cap·tur·a·ble, adjective
  • un·cap·tured, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use capture in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for capture


/ (ˈkæptʃə) /

  1. to take prisoner or gain control over: to capture an enemy; to capture a town

  2. (in a game or contest) to win control or possession of: to capture a pawn in chess

  1. to succeed in representing or describing (something elusive): the artist captured her likeness

  2. physics (of an atom, molecule, ion, or nucleus) to acquire (an additional particle)

  3. to insert or transfer (data) into a computer

  1. the act of taking by force; seizure

  2. the person or thing captured; booty

  1. physics a process by which an atom, molecule, ion, or nucleus acquires an additional particle

  2. Also called: piracy geography the process by which the headwaters of one river are diverted into another through erosion caused by the second river's tributaries

  3. the act or process of inserting or transferring data into a computer

Origin of capture

C16: from Latin captūra a catching, that which is caught, from capere to take

Derived forms of capture

  • capturer, noun

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