car·a·van·sa·ry (kăr′ə-vănsə-rē) also car·a·van·se·rai (-rī′)
n. pl. car·a·van·sa·ries also car·a·van·se·rais
1. An inn built around a large court for accommodating caravans along trade routes in central and western Asia.
2. A large inn or hostelry. In both senses also called serai.
[French caravanserai, from Persian kārvānsarāy : kārvān, caravan + sarāy, camp, palace; see terə-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.