Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A company of travelers journeying together, as across a desert or through hostile territory.
  • noun A single file of vehicles or pack animals.
  • noun A large covered vehicle; a van.
  • noun Chiefly British A trailer or dwelling place on wheels.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A company of travelers, pilgrims, or merchants, in many parts of Asia and Africa, who associate together that they may travel with greater security, especially through deserts or regions infested by robbers.
  • noun Figuratively, any large number of persons traveling together, especially when moving slowly or with much baggage; poetically, any large number of persons, or even animals, considered as traveling together to a common destination.
  • noun A large covered carriage used for conveying passengers, or a company of people traveling together, or a traveling exhibition or show; hence, any large covered wagon or cart for travel or transport: often abbreviated to van.
  • noun A number of vessels or barks in company, or an expedition with such vessels.
  • noun A hood with hoops or springs of whalebone and an adjustable veil for the face.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A company of travelers, pilgrims, or merchants, organized and equipped for a long journey, or marching or traveling together, esp. through deserts and countries infested by robbers or hostile tribes, as in Asia or Africa.
  • noun A large, covered wagon, or a train of such wagons, for conveying wild beasts, etc., for exhibition; an itinerant show, as of wild beasts.
  • noun A covered vehicle for carrying passengers or for moving furniture, etc.; -- sometimes shorted into van.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A convoy or procession of travelers, their vehicles and cargo, and any pack animals, especially camels crossing a desert.
  • noun UK, Australia, New Zealand A furnished vehicle towed behind a car, etc., and used as a dwelling when stationary.
  • verb To travel in a caravan (procession).
  • verb UK, Australia To travel and/or live in a caravan (vehicle).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb travel in a caravan
  • noun a procession (of wagons or mules or camels) traveling together in single file
  • noun a camper equipped with living quarters

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French caravane or Italian carovana, both from Persian kārvān.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Persian کاروان (kârvân). The word was used to designate a group of people who were traveling by camel or horse on the silk road.

Examples

  • Borrowing the term caravan as descriptive of the march, they established markets at all convenient places.

    The Prince of India — Volume 01

  • Being shot in the caravan is always painful … … on December 1, 2009 at 8: 05 pm I'm Also Clouseau

    The Stereotyped World of WIN. « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • New York Fashion Week has come and gone but the slow fashion Alabama Chanin caravan just keeps on rolling between ‘The Factory’ in Florence, Alabama to Birmingham, Nashville, and back to NYC again this April.

    Abigail Doan | Inhabitat

  • Watch out, the caravan is coming to a fhalt, I hope Clinton doesn't fall off, Even if she does, It doesn't matter since the Caravan has already come to a final halt.

    Clinton in Puerto Rico: Caravan rolls on

  • The entire caravan from the church to the reception was made up of Gran Torinos.

    EASTWOOD DOING DIRTY HARRY, CLAIMS LIAR

  • I added, ‘The caravan is about to start for Cairo and I wish to return to my people.’

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • We all imagine Beckett to be that vanner and would like to set her up as the target of one of those Top Gear stunts where a caravan is destroyed by interesting technical means.

    Margaret Beckett's caravan

  • Soon his caravan is trailed by thousands of armless and legless disciples, living in tents, begging for food, waiting patiently for another turn in the operating room with Dr. Phyllis.

    A New Way to Be Mad

  • Soon his caravan is trailed by thousands of armless and legless disciples, living in tents, begging for food, waiting patiently for another turn in the operating room with Dr. Phyllis.

    A New Way to Be Mad

  • Sometimes, when the east wind is full of meditative savagery, one almost fancies that a hot odour may have travelled in its caravan from the heart of China, bringing us a message from the spice trees of Kwangtung.

    The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing

Comments

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  • Dear Heather,

                          Just a note to thank you for

    writing. My marriage has broken up. Karen

    has gone to live in a caravan with

    a Welsh self-taught painter...

    - Peter Reading, Correspondence, from The Prison Cell and Barrel Mystery, 1976

    June 23, 2008