caravan

[16] Caravans have no etymological connection with cars, nor with char-a-bancs. The word comes ultimately from Persian kārwān ‘group of desert travellers’, and came into English via French caravane. Its use in English for ‘vehicle’ dates from the 17th century, but to begin with it referred to a covered cart for carrying passengers and goods (basis of the caraway 94 shortened form van [19]), and in the 19th century it was used for the basic type of thirdclass railway carriage; its modern sense of ‘mobile home’ did not develop until the late 19th century. Caravanserai ‘inn for accommodating desert caravans’ [16] comes from Persian kārwānserāī: serāī means ‘palace, inn’, and was the source, via Italian, of seraglio ‘harem’ [16]. => CARAVANSERAI, VAN

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Caravan — Car a*van (k[a^]r [.a]*v[a^]n or k[a^]r*[.a]*v[a^]n ; 277), n. [F. caravane (cf. Sp. caravana), fr. Per. karw[=a]n a caravan (in sense 1). Cf. {Van} a wagon.] 1. A company of travelers, pilgrims, or merchants, organized and equipped for a long… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caravan — [kar′ə van΄] n. [Fr caravane < OFr carouan < Pers kārwān, caravan] 1. a company of travelers, esp. of merchants or pilgrims traveling together for safety, as through a desert 2. a number of vehicles traveling together 3. a large covered… …   English World dictionary

  • caravan — / kærəvæn/, it. / karavan/ s. ingl. [dal persiano kārwān carovana di cammelli ], usato in ital. al masch. [cabina a rimorchio attrezzata ad abitazione] ▶◀ roulotte. ‖ camper …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • caravan — 1580s, from M.Fr. caravane, from O.Fr. carouan (13c.), picked up during the Crusades from Pers. karwan group of desert travelers. Used in English for vehicle 17c., especially for a covered cart. In modern British use, often a rough equivalent of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • caravan — /ˈkaravan, ingl. ˈkærəˌvæn/ [vc. ingl. «carovana, carrozzone», poi «roulotte»] s. m. roulotte (fr.) CFR. autocaravan, camper (ingl.), motorhome (ingl.) …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Caravan — ↑ Karawane …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

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