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.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, compiled by the
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Word origin of 'caravel'MFr < Port caravela, dim. of caravo, small vessel < LL carabus, small wicker boat covered with leather < L, kind of crab < Gr karabos