any of several kinds of fast, small sailing ships, esp. one with a narrow, high poop and lateen sails, used by the Spaniards and Portuguese in the 15th and 16th cent.
Origin of caravelMiddle French ; from Portuguese caravela, diminutive of caravo, small vessel ; from Late Latin carabus, small wicker boat covered with leather ; from Classical Latin kind of crab ; from Classical Greek karabos
or car·a·velle also car·vel
Any of several types of small, light sailing ships, especially one with two to four masts and lateen sails used by the Spanish and Portuguese in the 1400s and 1500s.
Origin of caravelFrench caravelle, from Old French, from Old Portuguese caravela, diminutive of cáravo, ship, from Late Latin cārabus, a small wicker boat, from Late Greek kārabos, light ship, from Greek, horned beetle.
From Middle French caravelle, from Portuguese caravela.