Car"a*vel (?), n. [F. caravelle (cf. It. caravella, Sp. carabela), fr. Sp. caraba a kind of vessel, fr. L. carabus a kind of light boat, fr. Gr. a kind of light ship, NGr. ship, vessel.] [written also caravel and caravelle.] Naut.
A name given to several kinds of vessels.
The caravel of the 16th century was a small vessel with broad bows, high, narrow poop, four masts, and lateen sails. Columbus commanded three caravels on his great voyage.
A Portuguese vessel of 100 or 150 tons burden.
A small fishing boat used on the French coast.
A Turkish man-of-war.
© Webster 1913.