Definition of caique in English:



  • 1A light rowboat used on the Bosporus.

    ‘The lighter service was handled, at least in part, by caiques and other mostly locally owned small boats whose socio-economic leverage, unlike that of the elite property owners on the sea front, was not great.’
    • ‘Would you like to experience Istanbul from a caique?’
    • ‘We sent up our luggage and servants by a caique, a long, narrow, flat-bottomed boat, rowed by sculls.’
    • ‘We enter a caique, where we take our seals in oriental fashion, and two rowers, dressed in grey-white, striped silk shirts and red fezzes, sped us up the Bosporus.’
  • 2A small eastern Mediterranean sailing ship.

    ‘Formerly known as caiques, gulets are beautiful, broad-beamed, hand-built wooden sailing boats, but unfortunately these days the sails are strictly for show.’
    • ‘Typically, 12 to 20 rounds were needed to destroy a caique or schooner.’
    • ‘In fact only a small convoy of caiques, bearing a single battalion of mountain troops, was headed for Maleme, not Canea.’



/ˌkäˈēk/ /ˌkɑˈik/ /kīk/ /kaɪk/


Early 17th century from French caïque, from Italian caicco, from Turkish kayık.