from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. (noun) A large European sailing vessel of the 14th to 17th centuries similar to a caravel but square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast and lateen-rigged on the mizzenmast.


  • The wreck was unquestionably some Spanish or Portuguese carrack or galleon as old as I have stated; for you saw her shape when you stood on her deck, and her castellated stern rising into a tower from her poop and poop-royal, as it was called, proved her age as convincingly as if the date of her launch had been scored upon her.

    Stories by English Authors: the Sea

  • I told them about those three ships -- we imagine huge floating fortresses, but Columbus' ships were shockingly tiny for an open ocean crossing, two small caravels and the flagship Santa MarĂ­a, a carrack -- making their way out of Palos that morning, on a voyage longer and more dangerous than a modern trip to the moon.

    Jesse Larner: Some Thoughts on Columbus Day

  • O that he had but the wealth and treasure of both the Indies to endow her with, a carrack of diamonds, a chain of pearl, a cascanet of jewels, (a pair of calfskin gloves of four-pence a pair were fitter), or some such toy, to send her for a token, she should have it with all his heart; he would spend myriads of crowns for her sake.

    Anatomy of Melancholy


'Carrack' comes from the Arabic 'qurqur,' merchant ship, which may come from the Greek 'kerkouros,' fast light vessel. The Mayflower was most likely a carrack.