a title or explanation for a picture or illustration, especially in a magazine.
a heading or title, as of a chapter, article, or page.
Movies, Television. the title of a scene, the text of a speech, etc., superimposed on the film and projected onto the screen.
Law. the heading of a legal document stating the time, place, etc., of execution or performance.
verb (used with object)
to supply a caption or captions for; entitle: to caption a photograph.

1350–1400; Middle English capcio(u)n seizure < Latin captiōn- (stem of captiō), equivalent to capt(us) taken (see captive) + -iōn- -ion

captionless, adjective
miscaption, verb (used with object)
subcaption, noun
supercaption, noun
uncaptioned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
caption (ˈkæpʃən)
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
5.  the formal heading of a legal document stating when, where, and on what authority it was taken or made
6.  to provide with a caption or captions
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "taking, seizure," from O.Fr. capcion, from L. capito pp. of capere "to take" (see capable). Sense evolved from headings of legal indictments involving seizure ("Certificate of caption"), the word being taken to mean 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).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
We're extending last week's caption contest for another week.
The caption is an extremely important piece of the entry.
The birds are indeed cormorants and the caption has been updated.
One-hundred and seventy eight people voted for that caption.
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