Definition of capture in English:


Syllabification: cap·ture
Pronunciation: /ˈkapCHər


[with object]
  • 1Take into one’s possession or control by force: the Russians captured 13,000 men
    More example sentences
    • Ethiopian forces claim to have captured the town for strategic reasons and insist they intend to withdraw later.
    • At sunset, tribal forces claimed to have captured a ridge on the Milawa valley adjacent to the Tora Bora valley.
    • Only a few years later, the idea of a yeast that was out of control would capture the public imagination.
    catch, apprehend, seize, arrest; take prisoner, take captive, imprison, detain, put/throw in jail, put behind bars, put under lock and key, incarcerate
    informal nab, collar, bag, pick up
    occupy, invade, conquer, seize, take, take over, take possession of
  • 1.1Record or express accurately in words or pictures: she did a series of sketches, trying to capture all his moods
    More example sentences
    • The Sub-Standard uses words and pictures to capture the essence of London's worst August storms ever.
    • Perhaps, the mad careening way of life might become more reflective as its mood and mode is captured in image and word.
    • The pictures captured the mood or essence of the songs.
    express, reproduce, represent, encapsulate
  • 1.2 Physics Absorb (an atomic or subatomic particle).
    More example sentences
    • Not until the ambient temperature in the expanding universe had cooled from trillions down to about 3,000 degrees Kelvin did the nuclei capture electrons.
    • Plant chloroplasts normally capture photons to excite electrons to drive photosynthesis.
    • This is the process in which a proton is converted into a neutron by the nucleus capturing a negative electron from one of the inner orbits of its atom.
  • 1.3(In chess and other board games) make a move that secures the removal of (an opposing piece) from the board.
    More example sentences
    • Finally, a single piece is automatically captured if two opposing pieces of another color move into its triangle.
    • Kevin looked down at the chess game, and made a move capturing a piece.
    • A player could capture an enemy piece by either moving onto the piece or any one of these chits, which captured the piece as of that location.
  • 1.4 Astronomy (Of a star, planet, or other celestial body) bring (a less massive body) permanently within its gravitational influence.
    More example sentences
    • Their findings suggest the purported moons arose from collisions or were captured by the planet shortly after the solar system formed.
    • Stuff moving more slowly relative to Earth can be captured by the planet's gravity and survive the plunge.
    • Some small moons orbiting Jupiter, as well as Phobos and Deimos, may have originally been asteroids captured into orbit by the gravity of Mars and Jupiter.
  • 1.5(Of a stream) divert the upper course of (another stream) by encroaching on its catchment area.
    More example sentences
    • Long ago, another stream captured the headwaters of the Wind Gap stream, leaving the gap high and dry.
    • Whenever one stream captures a portion of the drainage of a neighbouring stream, certain results are produced.
    • Over time, the Barron River 'captured' some of the headwaters of the Mitchell River.
  • 1.6Cause (data) to be stored in a computer or in a digital format.
    More example sentences
    • Version 2.0 allows users to capture customer e-mail stored in corporate mailboxes in addition to submissions from the Web.
    • But then, what if the spyware captures your keystrokes and stores them for later retrieval?
    • These programs are both Windows programs that allow users to capture the USB data that is sent to and received from any USB device on a Windows system.


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  • 1The action of capturing or of being captured: the capture of the city marks the high point of his career he was killed while resisting capture
    More example sentences
    • Apparently, the two men killed had attempted to resist capture.
    • Units of the Polish underground Home Army, which had assisted in the city's capture, were arrested and in part deported.
    • The military code of conduct does require that military personnel resist capture.
    arrest, apprehension, seizure, being taken prisoner, being taken captive, imprisonment
  • 1.1A person or thing that has been captured.
    More example sentences
    • The Liberal Democrats' success, disguised by strong votes in very safe Labour seats, but exemplified by some astonishing captures from the labour heartland, should be encouraging in one way.
    • Just one exhibition of more than 20 that make up this year's Mois de la Photo, World Press Photo contains no shortage of similarly dismal captures.
    • The captures were effected in March and early April - some 4 months before Abu Ghraib prison was re-opened by the US.


capture someone's imagination (or attention)

Fascinate someone: the project has captured the imagination of the local public
More example sentences
  • Now, the ancient Egyptians have long captured our imagination.
  • A shout in the midst of a normal voice or even a whisper will capture people's attention.
  • In India, too, a comprehensive approach to rainwater harvesting has captured the nation's imagination.



More example sentences
  • Instead of fear she was very angry with her capturers.
  • The capturers left almost no trail for them to follow.
  • But she yelled with no avail, seeming she had no one to hear her, but her capturers.


mid 16th century (as a noun): from French, from Latin captura, from capt- 'seized, taken', from the verb capere.

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