car·​a·​van | \ ˈker-ə-ˌvan How to pronounce caravan (audio) , ˈka-rə-\

Definition of caravan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a company of travelers on a journey through desert or hostile regions also : a train of pack animals
b : a group of vehicles traveling together (as in a file)
2a : a covered wagon or motor vehicle equipped as traveling living quarters
b British : trailer sense 1b


caravanned or caravaned; caravanning or caravaning

Definition of caravan (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to travel in a caravan

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Synonyms for caravan

Synonyms: Noun

armada, cavalcade, fleet, line, motorcade, train

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Examples of caravan in a Sentence


a funeral caravan slowly making its way down the street bought a caravan and drove cross-country to California


We caravaned to the campsite.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Their caravan encountered another group of cars, and her driver decided to pass them. Quanta Magazine, "The Woman Who Gets Called When a Piece of Mars Falls From the Sky," 18 Dec. 2018 The 6-foot-2 wideout followed a caravan of blockers into the end zone to give the hosts a two-score lead. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Denver Broncos home openers turn 60: Different time, same love affair," 15 Sep. 2019 In June 2018 caravans of drivers used social media to organise nationwide protests about fuel prices, low incomes and the market dominance of a few, Uber-like load-finding apps. The Economist, "China’s long-distance lorry drivers are unsung heroes of its economy," 12 Sep. 2019 Jurnee was rushed to Children’s of Alabama, a caravan of family members right behind the ambulance following her to the hospital. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Jurnee Coleman, 4-year-old Birmingham girl shot in head by stray bullet, dies from injuries," 31 July 2019 Nearly a year after a giant caravan of Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana intent on crossing into the United States, some have opted instead to settle down in this border city where there is ample work and cheap apartments. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Some migrants have found jobs, settled into Tijuana," 3 Sep. 2019 On Friday, new amendments addressed the concerns of the trucking industry, which has filed suit in federal court seeking to overturn the Dynamex decision and had deployed caravans of protesting drivers to circle the capital. Los Angeles Times, "A bill giving workplace protection to a million Californians moves one step closer to law," 30 Aug. 2019 Gore noted a turning point in the debate over whether Britain should leave the European Union came in the form of a billboard ad that depicted a walking caravan of refugees. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Al Gore on Enbridge Line 3, green jobs, flooded farms and Greenland losing 11 billion tons of ice in one day," 5 Aug. 2019 And, the campaign argues, Mexico has begun cracking down on caravans of migrants passing through in response to the threats from the president. The Washington Post, oregonlive, "Trump campaigns on problems he pledged to fix," 8 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to Helix officials, the employees will caravan in three trucks, two from Helix and one from Padre Dam. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Helix, Padre Dam water district personnel heading up to Paradise," 12 Aug. 2019 From there, participants caravan by car to local sites, such as the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center and Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Shelter to Soldier receives Petco grant," 15 June 2019 The next day, the family caravaned to Mendoza’s grandparents’ farm in rural San Vicente. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "Going home after half a lifetime," 30 May 2018 The club meets once a month most months to caravan and show off their cars around town, or for weekend car shows or social gatherings during the week. Kirk Sides, Houston Chronicle, "Bay Area MINI Cooper owner’s group rolls in Clear Lake," 24 May 2018 Reality: There is an annual event organized by activists where migrants caravan through Mexico to the US, designed to highlight the dangerous journey that immigrants must undertake to escape violent and unstable conditions in their home countries. Tal Kopan, CNN, "Trump on immigration: Fact check," 3 Apr. 2018 By the film's end, the ants caravan the confetti--a very human remain--down into holes in the earth. Pelican Bomb,, "Mardi Gras, through the eyes of an ant," 9 Feb. 2018 Demonstrators and protestors were then planning to caravan 25 miles north to Murfreesboro for a second rally. Stephanie Ingersoll, USA TODAY, "Tennessee towns brace for white nationalist rallies," 28 Oct. 2017 Many Louisville participants also plan to caravan to Frankfort to gather on the steps of the capitol from 7-9 p.m. to honor first responders and honor those who have died during a candle light vigil. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "The mother of a Louisville overdose victim fights the 'heroin wars' in her own way," 29 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caravan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caravan


1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1885, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caravan


Italian caravana, from Persian kārvān

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Statistics for caravan

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caravan

The first known use of caravan was in 1588

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More Definitions for caravan



English Language Learners Definition of caravan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group of people or animals traveling together on a long journey especially through the desert
: a group of vehicles (such as cars or wagons) traveling together



English Language Learners Definition of caravan (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to travel from one place to another in a group of vehicles


car·​a·​van | \ ˈker-ə-ˌvan How to pronounce caravan (audio) \

Kids Definition of caravan

1 : a group (of people or animals) traveling together on a long journey
2 : a group of vehicles traveling together one behind the other

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Comments on caravan

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a bell tower

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