A small, fast Spanish or Portuguese sailing ship of the 15th–17th centuries.‘Square-rigged sails were particularly effective on the lighter ships known as caravels, which is why the Nina and Pinta were apt choices for Columbus's first voyage.’
- ‘One theory has it as the hulk of a Portuguese caravel wrecked here in the 1560s.’
- ‘The even skin of the carvel hull enabled shipwrights to cut gunports close to the waterline.’
- ‘Nine years later his caravels were wrecked at Puerto Bueno - the present Dry Harbour.’
- ‘Its tall twin bell towers were the first sign of port for the caravels making the long voyage from Lisbon, Africa or Macau.’
Early 16th century from French caravelle, from Portuguese caravela, diminutive of caravo, via Latin from Greek karabos ‘horned beetle’ or ‘light ship’.
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