Share this entry

caravel Syllabification: car·a·vel
Pronunciation: /ˈkarəˌvel/ /-vəl/
(also carvelˈkärvel)

Definition of caravel in English:

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'.

Words that rhyme with caravel

Maxwell • Cherwell

Definition of caravel in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources