[ kar-uh-vel ]
/ ˈkær əˌvɛl /


a small Spanish or Portuguese sailing vessel of the Middle Ages and later, usually lateen-rigged on two or three masts.
Also carvel.

Origin of caravel

1520–30; < Middle French car(a)velle < Portuguese caravela, equivalent to cárav(o) kind of ship (< Late Latin carabus a small wicker boat < Greek kárabos skiff, crayfish) + -ela diminutive suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for caravel

British Dictionary definitions for caravel



/ (ˈkærəˌvɛl) /


a two- or three-masted sailing ship, esp one with a broad beam, high poop deck, and lateen rig that was used by the Spanish and Portuguese in the 15th and 16th centuries

Word Origin for caravel

C16: from Portuguese caravela, diminutive of caravo ship, ultimately from Greek karabos crab, horned beetle
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