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or car·a·velle  (kăr′ə-vĕl′) also car·vel (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.

[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.]


(ˈkærəˌvɛl) or


(Nautical Terms) 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
[C16: from Portuguese caravela, diminutive of caravo ship, ultimately from Greek karabos crab, horned beetle]


(ˈkær əˌvɛl)

also carvel

a small Spanish or Portuguese sailing vessel of the Middle Ages and later, usu. lateen-rigged on two or three masts.
[1520–30; < Middle French car(a)velle < Portuguese caravela]


[kærəˈvel] Ncarabela f


nKaravelle f
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References in periodicals archive ?
Then they waged war, after which a French ship sank a Portuguese caravel.
The impressive arched chestnut ceiling in the vast banqueting hall is said to be modelled on the upturned hull of a Portuguese caravel, thereby prompting a debate on Portugal's maritime history and whether they made the most of their position or just made other countries - like England, perhaps - wealthy in the process.