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


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.



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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