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caravan

[kar-uh-van]
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noun
  1. a group of travelers, as merchants or pilgrims, journeying together for safety in passing through deserts, hostile territory, etc.
  2. any group traveling in or as if in a caravan and using a specific mode of transportation, as pack animals or motor vehicles: a caravan of trucks; a camel caravan.
  3. a large covered vehicle for conveying passengers, goods, a sideshow, etc.; van.
  4. Chiefly British. a house on wheels; trailer.
verb (used with object), car·a·vaned or car·a·vanned, car·a·van·ing or car·a·van·ning.
  1. to carry in or as if in a caravan: Trucks caravaned food and medical supplies to the flood's survivors.
verb (used without object), car·a·vaned or car·a·vanned, car·a·van·ing or car·a·van·ning.
  1. to travel in or as if in a caravan: They caravaned through Egypt.

Origin of caravan

1590–1600; earlier carovan < Italian carovana < Persian kārwān
Related formscar·a·van·ist, noun

Synonyms

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1. parade, procession, train, cavalcade, band.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for caravan

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Thus the four tribes represented in his caravan were supplied.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • At an angle calculated to intercept the caravan, Kingozi set off down the hill.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • This was our caravan, and God Almighty had created the elephant for us.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • Beside which, the caravan was moving at the majestic rate of about five miles a day.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • In Hori I encountered a caravan of pilgrims returning from Mecca.


British Dictionary definitions for caravan

caravan

noun
    1. a large enclosed vehicle capable of being pulled by a car or lorry and equipped to be lived inUS and Canadian name: trailer
    2. (as modifier)a caravan site
  1. (esp in some parts of Asia and Africa) a company of traders or other travellers journeying together, often with a train of camels, through the desert
  2. a group of wagons, pack mules, camels, etc, esp travelling in single file
  3. a large covered vehicle, esp a gaily coloured one used by Romany Gypsies, circuses, etc
verb -vans, -vanning or -vanned
  1. (intr) British to travel or have a holiday in a caravan
Derived Formscaravanning, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Italian caravana, from Persian kārwān
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 caravan

n.

1580s, from Middle French caravane, from Old French carvane, carevane "caravan" (13c.), or Medieval Latin caravana, picked up during the Crusades from Persian karwan "group of desert travelers" (which Klein connects to Sanskrit karabhah "camel"). Used in English for "vehicle" 17c., especially for a covered cart. Hence, in modern British use (from 1930s), often a rough equivalent of the U.S. mobile home.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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