caravansary

noun
car·​a·​van·​sa·​ry | \ˌker-ə-ˈvan(t)-sə-rē, ˌka-rə-\
variants: or caravanserai \-​sə-​ˌrī \
plural caravansaries or caravanserais or caravanserai

Definition of caravansary 

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

2 : hotel, inn

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Examples of caravansary in a Sentence

a caravansary designed specifically for self-styled cheapskates

First Known Use of caravansary

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for caravansary

Persian kārvānsarāī, from kārvān caravan + sarāī palace, inn

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about caravansary

Share caravansary

Listen to Our Podcast about caravansary

Dictionary Entries near caravansary

caravance

caravaneer

caravanner

caravansary

caravel

caraway

Caraya

Statistics for caravansary

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caravansary

The first known use of caravansary was in 1599

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on caravansary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for caravansary

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about caravansary

Comments on caravansary

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

amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!