noun, plural car·a·van·sa·ries.

  1. (in the Near East) an inn, usually with a large courtyard, for the overnight accommodation of caravans.
  2. any large inn or hotel.

noun plural -rais or -ries

  1. (in some Eastern countries esp formerly) a large inn enclosing a courtyard providing accommodation for caravans

1590s, carvanzara, “Eastern inn (with a large central court) catering to caravans,” ultimately from Persian karwan-sarai, from karwan (see caravan) + sara’i “palace, mansion; inn,” from Iranian base *thraya- “to protect” (see seraglio).


alternative spelling of caravanserai.

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