What is Capture?

Legal Definition
War. The taking of property by one belligerent from another.

2. To make a good capture of a ship, it must be subdued and taken by an enemy in open war, or by way of reprisals, or by a pirate, and with intent to deprive the owner of it.

3. Capture may be with intent to possess both ship and cargo, or only to seize the goods of the enemy, or contraband goods which are on board: The former is the capture of the ship in the proper sense of the word; the latter is only an arrest and detention, witbout any design to deprive the owner of it. Capture is deemed lawful, when made by a declared enemy, lawfully commissioned and according to the laws of war; and unlawful, when it is against the rules established by the law of nations. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 4.See, generally, Lee on Captures, passim; 1 Chitty's Com. Law, 377 to 512; 2 Woddes. 435 to 457; 2 Caines' C. Err 158; 7 Johns. R. 449; 3 Caines' R. 155; 11 Johns. R. 241; 13 Johns. R.161; 14 Johns. R. 227; 3 Wheat. 183; 4 Cranch, 436 Mass. 197; Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
In international law. The inking or wresting of property from one of two belligerents by the other. It occurs either on land or at sea. In the former case, the property captured is called "booty;" in the latter case, "prize." Capture, in technical language, is a taking by military power; a seizure is a taking by civil authority. U. S. v. Athens Armory, 35 Ga. 344, Fed. Cas. No. 14,473. In some cases, this is a mode of acquiring property. Thus, every one may, as a general rule, on his own land, or on the sea, capture any wild animal, and acquire a qualified ownership in it by confining it, or absolute ownership by killing it 2 Steph. Comm. 79.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
A taking of a vessel as a prize by an enemy, in time of open war, with intent to deprive the owner of it. See 6 Wall. (U. S.) 1, 18 L. Ed. 836. A seizure of property or soldiers of an enemy in time of war.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary