Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[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.
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for caravel
  • From the caravel to the cotton gin, technological innovation has made things worse for blacks.
British Dictionary definitions for caravel


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
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for caravel

1520s, from Middle French caravelle (15c.), from Spanish carabela or Portuguese caravela, diminutive of caravo "small vessel," from Late Latin carabus "small wicker boat covered with leather," from Greek karabos, literally "beetle, lobster" (see scarab). Earlier form carvel (early 15c.) survives in carvel-built (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for caravel

a light sailing ship of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries in Europe, much-used by the Spanish and Portuguese for long voyages. Apparently developed by the Portuguese for exploring the coast of Africa, the caravel's chief excellence lay in its capacity for sailing to windward. It was also capable of remarkable speed. Two of the three ships in which Christopher Columbus made his historic voyage in 1492 were caravels, the Nina and the Pinta.

Learn more about caravel with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for caravel

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for caravel

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for caravel