Caravel meaning

kär'vəl, -vĕl'
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.
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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.
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(nautical) A light, usually lateen-rigged sailing ship used by the Portuguese, as well as Spanish, for about 300 years, beginning in the fifteenth century, first for trade and later for voyages of exploration.
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Origin of caravel

  • French 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 American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Middle French caravelle, from Portuguese caravela.
    From Wiktionary