Definition of caravel in English:


Syllabification: car·a·vel
Pronunciation: /ˈkarəˌvel, -vəl
(also carvel /ˈkärvel/)


  • A small, fast Spanish or Portuguese sailing ship of the 15th-17th centuries.
    More example sentences
    • Square-rigged sails were particularly effective on the lighter ships known as caravels, which is why the Nina and Pinta were apt choices for Columbus's first voyage.
    • One theory has it as the hulk of a Portuguese caravel wrecked here in the 1560s.
    • The even skin of the carvel hull enabled shipwrights to cut gunports close to the waterline.


early 16th century: from French caravelle, from Portuguese caravela, diminutive of caravo, via Latin from Greek karabos 'horned beetle' or 'light ship'.

More definitions of caravel

Definition of caravel in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kərf
a slit made by cutting with a saw