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Syllabification: cap·tion
Pronunciation: /ˈkapSH(ə)n

Definition of caption in English:


1A title or brief explanation appended to an article, illustration, cartoon, or poster.
Example sentences
  • Bournemouth Council now uses cartoon captions on its posters to attract attention.
  • The captions accompanying posters (which showed streams of bright sunlight through the clouds) were written in mock bible-speak.
  • Every key work is illustrated and accompanied by an explanatory caption.
title, heading, wording, head, legend, subtitle;
rubric, slogan;
trademark surtitle
1.1A piece of text appearing on a movie or television screen as part of a movie or broadcast.
Example sentences
  • The film, punctuated by captions highlighting what the party considers key achievements, wasn't so much about setting out key pledges but setting a tone and feeling for Labour's protagonists.
  • To judge by the Estonian television captions, the first day of the Leaving Cert was marked by the coming together of two trade unions, EESTI and IIRIMAA.
  • And on the simplest level, there was a disconcerting clash between the postmodern textuality dispensed by the singers and the humble captions on the screen.
1.2 Law The heading of a legal document.
Example sentences
  • Deeds, captions on cases, and other legal forms like subpoenas all serve the purpose of giving notice, which is how lawyers and the courts communicate with the public.
  • The case is notable not for the momentousness of the underlying legal question but for its amusing caption.
  • Defendants' motion to remove Kama's name from the caption of this case is ALLOWED.


[with object] (usually be captioned) Back to top  
Provide (an illustration) with a title or explanation: the drawings were captioned with humorous texts [with two objects]: the photograph was captioned “Three little maids.”
More example sentences
  • The photographs are carefully captioned, providing simple but interesting details about the plants and creatures.
  • But the New York Times admired Magnussen's design when it was introduced and captioned its illustration of it ‘The Lights and Shadows of New York.’
  • Informative text provides a running commentary, and each photo is captioned with historical details.


late Middle English (in the sense 'seizing, capture'): from Latin caption-, from capere 'take, seize'. Early senses 'arrest' and 'warrant for arrest' gave rise to 'statement of where, when, and by whose authority a warrant was issued' (late 17th century): this was usually appended to a legal document, hence the sense 'heading or appended wording' (late 18th century).

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