Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Definition: \Car"a*vel\ (k[a^]r"[.a]*v[e^]l), 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. ka`rabos
a kind of light ship, NGr. kara`bi ship, vessel.] [written
also {carvel} and {caravelle}.] (Naut.)
A name given to several kinds of vessels.
(a) 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
(b) A Portuguese vessel of 100 or 150 tons burden.
(c) A small fishing boat used on the French coast.
(d) A Turkish man-of-war.