Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

caravansary

play
noun car·a·van·sa·ry \ˌker-ə-ˈvan(t)-sə-rē, ˌka-rə-\

Definition of caravansary

plural

caravansaries

or

caravanserais

or

caravanserai

  1. 1 :  an inn surrounding a court in eastern countries where caravans rest at night

  2. 2 :  hotel, inn



Examples of caravansary in a sentence

  1. <a caravansary designed specifically for self-styled cheapskates>



Did You Know?

In the Middle East, caravans often lodged at caravansaries. These inns were quadrangular in form and enclosed by massive walls with small windows near the top. The central court, which was surrounded by an arcade and storerooms, was large enough to hold 300 to 400 camels. The name was formed from the word caravan and the Persian word sarāī, meaning "palace" or "inn." Caravansary can also be spelled caravanserai, and the word serai is used as a synonym for it.

Variants of caravansary

or

caravanserai

play \-sə-ˌrī\

Origin and Etymology of caravansary

Persian kārvānsarāī, from kārvān caravan + sarāī palace, inn


First Known Use: 1599


Learn More about caravansary


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up caravansary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

in the capacity or character of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

formless frightening experimental massive
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ