inscription

inscription, legend, caption are comparable when they mean something written, printed, or engraved (as on a coin or a medal or under or over a picture) to indicate or describe the purpose or the nature of the thing.
Inscription may apply to something written or printed, but it more often applies to something engraved, incised, or impressed on some hard surface (as stone, bronze, or silver); the word often carries an implication of durability or of permanence that is lacking, usually, in the others, and therefore often suggests a statement that has been framed or selected with care
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the inscription on a monument

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the bronze tablet has the following inscription

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some god direct my judgment! Let me see; I will survey the inscriptions back again. What says this leaden casket? "Who chooseth me must give arid hazard all he hath"— Shak.

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A legend (see also MYTH) is basically a very short inscription (as on a coin, a medal, or a heraldic shield) that is a motto or a statement of an aim, an ideal, or a guiding principle
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the legend "In God we trust" is found on all coins of the United States of America

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the legend on the Victoria Cross is "For Valour"

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The term is also used for the printed statement giving the title or a brief description or explanation of an illustration or diagram (as in a textbook or a work of reference)
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according to the legend, this illustration is that of "A Roman legionary"

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Caption basically applies to a heading or title (as of a document, an article, a chapter, or a section)
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an editorial under the caption "Where are we headed?"

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the stories have appeared in a running series under the caption of "The Adventures of Brigadier Gerard"— N. Y. Evening Post

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But the implication of a catching or arresting quality in the title is often evident, and caption may refer to a title or name given a story, an article, or an illustration that is designed to seize the attention of the reader
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delighting the readers of the Athenaeum with the treasures of his . . . reading, under the caption, "A Budget of Paradoxes"— Grosart

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The term caption is also used interchangeably with legend for the printed statement describing or explaining a picture or illustration
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a diagram of a motor with all the working parts explained in the caption

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under each [picture] was an appropriate caption, such as Surprise, Grief— S. E. White

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Caption is also used in motion pictures for any of the brief statements or bits of dialogue thrown on the screen to explain the scenes of a silent motion picture or of a sound motion picture in which the actors speak in a foreign language.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • inscription — [ ɛ̃skripsjɔ̃ ] n. f. • inscripcion 1444 ; lat. inscriptio 1 ♦ Ensemble de caractères écrits ou gravés pour conserver, évoquer un souvenir, indiquer une destination, transmettre un message, un slogan, exprimer une opinion, etc. ⇒ devise,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • inscription — Inscription. s. f. v. L s se prononce. Ce qu on escrit sur du cuivre, du marbre, &c. aux edifices publics, aux Arcs de triomphe, &c. pour conserver la memoire. On mit, on grava sur ce marbre une inscription en lettres d or. on conserve en ce lieu …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Inscription — In*scrip tion, n. [L. inscriptio, fr. inscribere, inscriptum, to inscribe: cf. F. inscription. See {Inscribe}.] 1. The act or process of inscribing. [1913 Webster] 2. That which is inscribed; something written or engraved; especially, a word or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • inscription — (n.) late 14c., from L. inscriptionem (nom. inscriptio) a writing upon, inscription, noun of action from pp. stem of inscribere inscribe, to write on or in anything, from in in (see IN (Cf. in ) (2)) + scribere to write (see SCRIPT (Cf. script)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • inscription — I noun autograph, caption, dedication, engraving, entry, index, inscriptio, legend, mark, record, superscription, titulus, written matter associated concepts: inscribed securities, registration of a deed II index …   Law dictionary

  • inscription — INSCRIPTION: Toujours cunéiforme …   Dictionnaire des idées reçues

  • inscription — [n] message autograph, caption, dedication, engraving, epitaph, heading, imprint, label, legend, lettering, saying, signature, wording; concept 283 …   New thesaurus

  • inscription — ► NOUN 1) words or symbols inscribed on a monument, in a book, etc. 2) the action of inscribing. DERIVATIVES inscriptional adjective inscriptive adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • inscription — [in skrip′shən] n. [ME inscripcioun < L inscriptio < inscriptus, pp. of inscribere] 1. the act of inscribing 2. something inscribed or engraved, as on a coin or monument 3. a) a brief or informal dedication in a book, etc. b) a short,… …   English World dictionary

  • INSCRIPTION — s. f. Caractères gravés ou fixés sur le cuivre, sur le marbre, sur la pierre, etc., soit pour conserver la mémoire d une personne ou d un événement, soit pour indiquer la destination d un édifice, etc. On mit, on grava sur ce marbre une… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

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