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[kar-uh k] /ˈkær ək/
noun, Nautical.


or carack

[kar-uh k] /ˈkær ək/
a merchant vessel having various rigs, used especially by Mediterranean countries in the 15th and 16th centuries; galleon.
Origin of carrack
1350-1400; Middle English carrake < Middle French carraque < Spanish carraca, perhaps back formation from Arabic qarāqīr (plural of qurqūr ship of burden < Greek kérkouros), the -īr being taken as plural ending Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for carack
Historical Examples
  • Had he not scuttled a Spanish carack four years ago in the bay of Funchal?

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • She proposed that Brian take one carack and she the other, but at this Brian laughed.

    Nuala O'Malley H. Bedford-Jones
  • A dozen men in the tops of the carack were balancing a huge stone with the intention of dropping it over on the English deck.

    Sir Nigel Arthur Conan Doyle
  • A little before night the carack put to sea, when we also weighed and made sail after her.

  • But the carack was still burning, and not a man belonging to her was to be seen.

  • But, of 700 who sailed in the carack, there came not above 250 to Goa, as we were afterwards credibly informed.

  • Grief-stricken his corsairs bore him back aboard the carack.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • Nuala had sent fifty of her men to join Turlough, left twenty to hold her castle, and had ten with her upon the carack.

    Nuala O'Malley H. Bedford-Jones
  • She was a large ship of the corvette kind, with something of the carack and something of the polacca about her.

    Marjorie Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • Her second carack had fallen behind, a shot having sent its foremast overside, but the other two ships were driving in.

    Nuala O'Malley H. Bedford-Jones
British Dictionary definitions for carack


a galleon sailed in the Mediterranean as a merchantman in the 15th and 16th centuries
Word Origin
C14: from Old French caraque, from Old Spanish carraca, from Arabic qarāqīr merchant ships
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
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Word Origin and History for carack



merchant ship, late 14c., from Old French caraque "large, square-rigged sailing vessel," from Spanish carraca, related to Medieval Latin carraca, Italian caracca, all of uncertain origin, perhaps from Arabic qaraqir, plural of qurqur "merchant ship." The Arabic word perhaps was from Latin carricare (see charge (v.)) or Greek karkouros "boat, pinnacle."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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