Definition of caravel in English:

Share this entry

caravel

Pronunciation: /ˈkerəvel/
(also carvel /ˈkärvel/)

noun

historical
A small, fast Spanish or Portuguese sailing ship of the 15th-17th centuries.
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.

Origin

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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: car·a·vel

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.