Definition of karakul in English:


(also caracul)


  • 1A sheep of an Asian breed with a dark curled fleece when young.

    • ‘Other agricultural products are silks, fruit, grapes, and livestock, particularly karakul sheep.’
    • ‘Namibia also possesses a rich offshore fishing industry and a karakul fur industry.’
    • ‘In a few days, the curls will unfurl and get rough, turning the precious karakul pelt into cheep sheepskin.’
    • ‘Astrakhan is produced in Uzbekistan from the karakul lamb.’
    • ‘According to the fur industry this foetal karakul lamb fur is from lambs that are prematurely born.’
    • ‘On land penguins also have a number of enemies which include leopards, caraculs, kelp gulls and mongooses.’
    • ‘A few members of the cat family are occasionally spotted, including serval cats, civets, African wild cats and caraculs.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun]Cloth or fur made from or resembling the fleece of the karakul.
      [as modifier] ‘a karakul hat’
      Also called Persian lamb
      • ‘One day, Karzai wore the grey karakul hat from the north, the next day the black and white silk turban from his Pathan homeland in the south.’
      • ‘The headpiece, also of caracul, is patterned after the Cossack's.’
      • ‘These programmes are intended to boost the knowledge of communal farmers and increase the quality and quantity of karakul production.’
      • ‘As the report reminds us, ‘carpets are the country's third largest export after dried fruit and karakul, the lambskin used to make hats such as the one commonly worn by President Hamed Karzai.’’
      • ‘The offering of karakuls was only selectively sold.’


Mid 19th century: from Russian, from the name of an oasis in Uzbekistan and of two lakes in Tadjikistan, based on Turkic.