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

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Examples of caravan in a Sentence

Noun a funeral caravan slowly making its way down the street bought a caravan and drove cross-country to California Verb We caravaned to the campsite.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That catastrophic caravan of history, circling again. Zadie Smith, The New York Review of Books, "What Do We Want History to Do to Us?," 11 Feb. 2020 Jose Luis Morales, a Salvadoran de facto spokesman for the caravan, said the migrants wanted to negotiate to be allowed to pass peacefully. Fox News, "Caravan in Mexico broken up by national guardsmen, immigration agents," 24 Jan. 2020 About 2,000 Hondurans seeking to reach the U.S. are in at least two caravans, say pro-migration activists and Mexican officials. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Large Groups of Hondurans Set Off for U.S., as Mexico Pledges to Block Them," 16 Jan. 2020 In 2011, the United Way took up sponsorship of the caravan that visits school districts, libraries, child development centers and all kinds of festivals. Vincent T. Davis,, "Retiree drives literacy caravan to promote reading to San Antonio children," 25 Nov. 2019 The procession of six hearses with police and firefighters serving as pallbearers drove to city hall where Mayor William Mortensen and other city officials joined the caravan, with people lining the route to pay their respects. Steven Goode,, "Medical examiner makes case to exhume unidentified bodies from the Hartford Circus Fire," 29 Aug. 2019 Five vehicles carrying 12 people each left in a caravan, escorted by a patrol car at the front and another at the rear. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fear, bribes, gangs, coyotes: A Guatemalan’s trek to the US," 30 July 2019 Another activist who has worked with caravans, Cristobal Sanchez, was arrested near the southern border and charged with smuggling migrants into Mexico. Patrick J. Mcdonnell,, "Facing pressure from Trump, Mexico detains two migrant caravan organizers," 6 June 2019 Facebook pulled a Trump ad last year that was widely criticized as racist, and depicted misleading claims about a caravan of people seeking asylum at the border. Cat Zakrzewski, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Facebook's Biden decision highlights broader media struggle on political ads," 10 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for caravan

Time Traveler

The first known use of caravan was in 1588

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Statistics for caravan

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Caravan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for caravan


How to pronounce caravan (audio)

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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