from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A roadside inn having a central courtyard where caravans can rest.
  • n. A home or shelter for caravans.

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

  • n. an inn in some eastern countries with a large courtyard that provides accommodation for caravans


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Persian کاروانسرای (kârvânserây), from کاروان (kârvân) ‘caravan’ + سرای (sarây) ‘palace, dwelling’ or ‘enclosed courts’.



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  • "Although archaeologists have not found evidence of permanent buildings to house caravans, called caravanserai in Persian, anywhere in Sogdiana, some modern historians believe that the caravanserai originated in the region. The geographer Ibn H awqal described the ruin of a giant building that could house up to two hundred travelers and their animals, with food for all and room to sleep as well. Several Panjikent houses had courtyards large enough to house a caravan, and the word 'hotel' in Sogdian (tym) was borrowed from the Chinese word 'inn' (dian)."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 122

    January 3, 2017

  • One of my favorite albums. I bought it at a concert by Burhan Öçal and the Instanbul Oriental Ensemble way back in 2002. That's when I fell in love with the kanun.

    March 4, 2011

  • Hold, monsters! Ere your pirate caravanserai

    Proceed, against our will, to wed us all,

    Just bear in mind that we are Wards in Chancery,

    And father is a Major-General!

    -- The Pirates of Penzance

    August 20, 2008