To take captive, as by force or craft; seize. To gain possession or control of, as in a game or contest: capture the queen in chess; captured the liberal vote. To attract and hold: tales of adventure that capture the imagination. To succeed in preserving in lasting form: capture a likeness in a painting. The act of catching, taking, or winning, as by force or skill. One that has been seized, caught, or won; a catch or prize. Physics The phenomenon in which an atom or a nucleus absorbs a subatomic particle, often with the subsequent emission of radiation.