Definition of caravan in English:


Pronunciation /karəˈvan//ˈkarəvan/


  • 1British A vehicle equipped for living in, typically towed by a car and used for holidays.

    ‘they spent a fishing holiday in a caravan’
    • ‘The Windermere site features 300 touring pitches and more than 70 caravan holiday homes, as well as facilities for backpackers.’
    • ‘In essence, therefore, what the appellants provide their customers with is a place to keep their caravans for holiday use and not permanent residential use.’
    • ‘MOST OF my childhood holidays were spent in caravans.’
    • ‘THE 30,000 visitors who poured into Manchester's G-Mex centre for the caravan and holiday home show proved caravans have a big future.’
    • ‘When we went for a caravan holiday in France I put in some overtime to help pay for it.’
    • ‘To anybody who has ever endured a caravan holiday in Ireland, mobile homes will always conjure up images of laminate interiors, chintzy furnishings and Travel Scrabble.’
    • ‘It is also estimated that some one-in-three adults have been camping or taken a caravan holiday at some time.’
    • ‘The couple still managed to enjoy their holiday in their battered caravan but are now waiting to have the side replaced, at a cost of some £2,000.’
    • ‘Now with her free time she has one holiday planned and intends to go on regular holidays in a new caravan.’
    • ‘When I was a lad we always had a two week holiday with our caravan.’
    • ‘A bid to use more land at a Walton holiday park to site caravans on has been given the thumbs-down by town councillors after protests from nearby residents.’
    • ‘More than 200 exhibitors will be offering an unrivalled selection of the very latest models of caravans, motorhomes, holiday homes and camping equipment.’
    • ‘Sitting relaxed in his small study, planning a family caravan holiday in Northumberland, he looks now to be doing pretty well.’
    • ‘The area is ideal for people who want a safe caravan holiday.’
    • ‘It's one of those great British paradoxes: a nation is fascinated by caravans, holidays and mobility, yet seemingly repelled by those for whom this way of life is the norm - gypsies and travellers.’
    • ‘It was after that two-week family holiday in their caravan, which Rose adored, that Stephen and Susan were told the terrible news that nothing more could be done.’
    • ‘We'll be staying in a caravan at Summer Fields Holiday Village.’
    • ‘Many of the quaint cottages, holiday chalets and holiday caravans are now occupied right through the year, either by their owners or by people who hire them for an ‘out-of-season break’.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, a picture of Cayton Bay, taken at about the same time, shows line after line of caravans as the seaside holiday enjoyed its heyday.’
    • ‘While caravan holidays were once considered to be a cheap and cheerful option, customers now have the option of luxury lodges.’
    mobile home, camper, caravanette
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    1. 1.1 A covered horse-drawn wagon.
      • ‘We had some difficulty getting anywhere near the town centre because this is May Fair week and the centre is filled with funfair machines, gypsy caravans and stalls selling food stuff that ought to be illegal.’
      • ‘Not only did the company build ballet audiences wherever it went, it picked up company members along the way, like a gypsy caravan.’
      • ‘After a few more hours of walking, the pair saw the Gypsy caravan train in the distance, looking like a beige blur among all the white.’
      • ‘She borrowed some money to buy a horse-drawn caravan and commenced a two-year journey northwards.’
      • ‘Peter started building gypsy caravans as a boy and though now in his sixties he still makes, repairs and paints them.’
      • ‘The charms included a pair of riding boots, a pair of rugby boots signifying when their son played his first game, a little church, a telephone kiosk and a gypsy caravan.’
      • ‘He was quite hungry anyway, so he followed the woman outside into the centre of the ring of caravans where the gypsies were all seated.’
      • ‘Burning arrows streamed over the trees, a few finding marks in hardened leather armour, or our caravan wagons.’
      • ‘As late as the 1930s, the area around the portes d' Italie, Choisy and Ivry was a no-man's land dotted by Gypsy caravans and shacks.’
      • ‘He is outraged that his blueprint for a gypsy site with seven caravans, a stable and a toilet block on land at Out Moss Lane has been thrown out.’
      • ‘She kept a sharp lookout for the rest of their missing wagon train caravan.’
      • ‘We rode in the woods where gypsies lived in bright caravans.’
      • ‘The case before him concerned refusals of permission for gypsies to site caravans in the Green Belt.’
      • ‘But in our case, one must not only build a caravan of gypsy wagons with their own two hands - but make an entire sideshow carnival!’
      • ‘Instead of just showing your readers cosy pictures of gypsy caravans why not show a few images of the other side of the coin - the litter and damage that is left behind.’
      • ‘He toyed with the idea of a gypsy caravan until he noticed that the proportions of the door were perfect to make it into a stable - complete with horse, of course.’
      • ‘With another lottery grant Kyle purchased the equipment she had been renting, and a big black light-proof canvas tent which she stretches over benders in the shape of a gypsy caravan.’
      • ‘The remaining child, the outcast, sat in the very corner of the caravan wagon.’
      • ‘Henley Compact Offices are quirky sheds with curved roofs redolent of gypsy caravans.’
      • ‘With his dog and his young friends he'd set out in his vardo - a horse-drawn gypsy caravan - and end up in the most wonderful, strange and exciting places.’
      wagon, covered cart, van
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    2. 1.2North American A covered lorry.
      • ‘Our little covered caravan was dwarfed by these new surroundings.’
      • ‘First of all you need a big open space to set up the tent, caravans and any animal pens.’
      • ‘This tiny caravan, organised with military precision, is home to scores of costumes, with an outfit for every cog in the wheel that drives the circus operation.’
      • ‘At the end of the road stood a canvas covered caravan and beside it a tiny theatre, a miniature stage with a black curtain backdrop.’
  • 2historical A group of people, especially traders or pilgrims, travelling together across a desert in Asia or North Africa.

    • ‘As a result, rumors of untold riches abound among the various bandit gangs that cruise the region in their custom-built battle cars, fighting and plundering trade caravans.’
    • ‘For another, the route the caravans took on their way to the slave ships passed through the capital, allowing Afonso to tax and regulate the trade.’
    • ‘We had been told that the Bedou could live on this diet for many days as they plodded across the desert with their caravans of laden dromedaries.’
    • ‘With the downfall of the Mughal Empire in the mid 1700s, commerce shifted to the sea ports, and the age of camel caravans drew to a close.’
    • ‘The caravan of desert travelers came over the ridges of sand, marching ceaselessly under the blazing yellow sun.’
    • ‘Slave and ivory caravans that passed through the region as late as the second half of the 19th century, may also have provided a gruesome supply of corpses.’
    • ‘Camel caravans also bring grain that is used to make bread.’
    • ‘One can still see camel caravans head to the desert and bring back slabs of salt, a round-trip that would last almost a month, crossing the unforgiving Sahara.’
    • ‘Thieving guilds and merchant caravans thrive across Valencia, bringing in great profits to our clan, however we do it admit it is unfortunate that we must resort to such measures to make a living.’
    • ‘In older books I found tales of desert caravans, raids by Bedouin clans, near starvation, and hard-won spiritual enlightenment.’
    • ‘We suffer hyperthermia in the Sahara if we don't have shelter from the heat, and hypothermia in the Arctic if we don't have boatloads of clothing and caravans of food.’
    • ‘Well-established villages that also served as trading centers for caravans, such as Kologelo and Mloka, had by then been abandoned.’
    • ‘They ended Tuareg trade activities, including the collection of tariffs and the protection services for camel caravans crossing the Sahara.’
    • ‘It is believed that the dogs got their name from travelling with caravans of traders.’
    • ‘Attacks on trading caravans and outposts had dropped radically, as well as the raids on the outlying farmsteads and towns of the region.’
    • ‘Irineo has driven llama caravans since he was 12, save for two or three years spent in school, and would not do anything else.’
    • ‘Djibouti, which has a good natural harbor and ready access to the Ethiopian highlands, attracted trade caravans crossing East Africa as well as Somali settlers from the south.’
    • ‘Word of the venture spread among the miners, who at first could not fathom camels lumbering into their camps, but Laumeister made the caravans a familiar sight.’
    • ‘Over this 1,800-mile trail came yearly caravans carrying not only tools, seeds, and other worldly goods, but also news of the outside world.’
    • ‘His idea was to raid the pilgrim caravans at sea and in their ports, and even possibly to raid Mecca itself.’
    1. 2.1 Any large group of people, typically with vehicles or animals, travelling together in single file.
      ‘a caravan of cars and trucks’
      • ‘Festivities are marked by caravans of automobiles flying flags and blaring horns.’
      • ‘As well, a caravan of vehicles had driven slowly towards Toronto from both eastern and western Ontario, clogging traffic on Highway 401.’
      • ‘The candidates are neck and neck in the polls, and often seem to be running for president of Ohio, as their bus caravans nearly cross each other's paths.’
      • ‘The entire entourage was traveling across a long dirt road, like a caravan, with animals and performers and equipment and everything in tow.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, rescue workers continue to meet at the center every day at 6 a.m. to pile into a caravan of pickup trucks.’
      • ‘It had been threatening to pour for the two days before and day since the departure of the small caravan of people.’
      • ‘These new suffragists took to the streets, organizing mass parades, automobile caravans, and soapbox speaking.’
      • ‘I give the car a bit more gas, accelerate past a caravan of station wagons.’
      • ‘He crossed into southern Iraq from Kuwait about midday in a caravan of sport utility vehicles accompanied by Iraqi police and national guardsmen.’
      • ‘He's leaving a caravan of buses bringing 600 New Orleans buses back to the city.’
      • ‘Then I heard cars, and I turned to see a caravan of vehicles pulling up behind mine.’
      • ‘You have been covering the governor's bus caravan with nearly 200 reporters.’
      • ‘What they're going to do about it: First, they're going to drive very slowly to Ottawa in a caravan involving dozens of cars.’
      • ‘It was to be found in the caravan of news vans that followed the Harrison tour.’
      • ‘They organized bus caravans Aug. 31 to take the arrivals to Metairie, 16 miles away, where a food and water distribution center had been set up.’
      • ‘The caravan of RV's trucked down Orcas and invaded the quiet cove on East Sound bay where the resort is nestled.’
      • ‘You didn't join a caravan of vehicles fleeing down after the chemical attack at the Mall of America, trying to make Fargo by nightfall.’
      • ‘Along the ground a caravan of ground crew and volunteers zips along to meet the group at the next rest stop.’
      • ‘In 2003, Funny Cide brought his owners to the big track in their caravan of yellow school buses.’
      • ‘He had led a caravan of three automobiles to buy food for the troops when he came upon a band of Villistas.’
      convoy, procession, column, train, cavalcade, fleet, cortège, company, troop, band, group, assemblage
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Late 15th century (in caravan (sense 2)): from French caravane, from Persian kārwān. The sense ‘covered horse-drawn wagon’ dates from the early 19th century.