1 : an inn surrounding a court in eastern countries where caravans rest at night
Did You Know?
In the Middle East of centuries past, 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.
Most of the area's hotels are on the pricey end of the scale, but there are a few caravansaries for budget travelers.
"In the town of Ishkashim, adjacent to the market, we visited the crumbling remains of a sixth-century caravansary—an ancient motel for Silk Road travelers." — Andy Isaacson, The New York Times, 20 Dec. 2009
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to complete a name for a procession of riders, vehicles, etc.: c _ _ al _ _ de.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP