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illustration Carrack



Part of speech: noun

Origin: Greek, 14th century


A large merchant ship of a kind operating in European waters in the 14th to the 17th century.

Examples of Carrack in a sentence

"My dad's latest ship in a bottle masterpiece was a carrack."

"Much of the merchant trade before the 18th century was transported on carracks."

About Carrack

For a European sailing vessel, carrack has quite a cosmopolitan etymology. In Arabic, a "qarāqir" is a merchant ship. One of those sailed to Spain, where it became a "carraca," then to France as a "caraque." It made its way to England as a carrack in the 14th century.

Did you Know?

The Santa Maria is to a carrack as a Ford Expedition is to an SUV. When Columbus sailed from Spain to the New World, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria carried him and his crew. The Santa Maria was a large merchant vessel, known as a carrack, and the Niña and the Pinta were smaller caravel-type ships.

illustration Carrack

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