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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 carrack
Historical Examples
  • She caught fire from a large French carrack, called the Marie la Cordelière, which she was attacking.

    Ancient and Modern Ships. George C. V. Holmes
  • Francisco and his bible are no more credible than the carrack and the bishop.

  • I shall have everything ready, and mules waiting, so that we may go straight to the muelle—the wharf to which the carrack is tied.

    House of Torment Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • In 1602 a Portuguese carrack of 1,600 tons was captured at Cezimbra.

    Ancient and Modern Ships. George C. V. Holmes
  • With the remainder of his vessels Spinola crept out of sight while the English were ransacking the carrack.

  • "So I thought," pursued Mr. carrack, rolling his eyes and heaving an infant sigh from his bosom.

    Chanticleer Cornelius Mathews
  • In the sixteenth century the carrack often attained the size of 1,600 tons.

    Ancient and Modern Ships. George C. V. Holmes
  • One carrack especially, commanded by Lawrence Foglietta resisted the attacks of seven English ships.

  • In 1592 a Portuguese carrack called the Madre de Dios was captured and brought home.

    Ancient and Modern Ships. George C. V. Holmes
  • The carrack, which was brought home in safety, was larger than any man-of-war or merchantman belonging to England.

British Dictionary definitions for carrack


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 carrack

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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