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[kar-uh k]
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noun Nautical.
  1. carrack.


or car·ack

[kar-uh k]
  1. a merchant vessel having various rigs, used especially by Mediterranean countries in the 15th and 16th centuries; galleon.

Origin of carrack

1350–1400; Middle English carrake < Middle French carraque < Spanish carraca, perhaps back formation from Arabic qarāqīr (plural of qurqūr ship of burden < Greek kérkouros), the -īr being taken as plural ending
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for carack

Historical Examples

  • Had he not scuttled a Spanish carack four years ago in the bay of Funchal?

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Grief-stricken his corsairs bore him back aboard the carack.

    The Sea-Hawk

    Raphael Sabatini

  • She proposed that Brian take one carack and she the other, but at this Brian laughed.

    Nuala O'Malley

    H. Bedford-Jones

  • A little before night the carack put to sea, when we also weighed and made sail after her.

  • But, of 700 who sailed in the carack, there came not above 250 to Goa, as we were afterwards credibly informed.

British Dictionary definitions for carack


  1. a galleon sailed in the Mediterranean as a merchantman in the 15th and 16th centuries

Word Origin

C14: from Old French caraque, from Old Spanish carraca, from Arabic qarāqīr merchant ships
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for carack



merchant ship, late 14c., from Old French caraque "large, square-rigged sailing vessel," from Spanish carraca, related to Medieval Latin carraca, Italian caracca, all of uncertain origin, perhaps from Arabic qaraqir, plural of qurqur "merchant ship." The Arabic word perhaps was from Latin carricare (see charge (v.)) or Greek karkouros "boat, pinnacle."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper