car·​a·​vel | \ ˈker-ə-ˌvel How to pronounce caravel (audio) , ˈka-rə-, -vəl \

Definition of caravel

: any of several sailing ships specifically : a small 15th and 16th century ship that has broad bows, high narrow poop, and usually three masts with lateen or both square and lateen sails

Illustration of caravel

Illustration of caravel

Examples of caravel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Spanish caravels and a viking longboat, a moving sidewalk, the first Ferris wheel — along with people and cultures from around the globe — all turned Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance into the world’s museum. Charles J. Johnson,, "The Humboldt alligator is all the rage, but the 1893 World’s Fair gators in Jackson Park are the original creatures from the Chicago lagoon," 28 June 2019 In Europe, however, small and scrappy Portugal did build small ships called caravels that could explore the African coast and later the Atlantic Ocean. Lee Roop,, "Trump's 'Space Force' idea sounds good to Alabama representatives," 14 Mar. 2018 This caravel gave me a strange sense of peace and the feeling that there is always a story to tell, a place where to return. Andrew Katz,, "‘My mind will stay there forever’," 17 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caravel.' 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 caravel

1527, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for caravel

Middle French caravelle, from Old Portuguese caravela

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Time Traveler for caravel

Time Traveler

The first known use of caravel was in 1527

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Cite this Entry

“Caravel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for caravel


car·​a·​vel | \ ˈker-ə-ˌvel How to pronounce caravel (audio) \

Kids Definition of caravel

: a small sailing ship of the 15th and 16th centuries with a broad bow and high stern and three or four masts

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More from Merriam-Webster on caravel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for caravel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with caravel Encyclopedia article about caravel

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