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).