Bivouac meaning

bĭvo͝o-ăk, bĭvwăk
The definition of a bivouac is a temporary camp with limited shelter.

An example of a bivouac is a set up of tents and a campfire for soldiers.

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Bivouac is defined as to stay in a temporary camp.

An example of bivouac is for soldiers to sleep outdoors for a night.

verb
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A temporary encampment often in an unsheltered area.
noun
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To camp in a bivouac.
verb
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(archaic) A night guard to avoid surprise attack.
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A temporary encampment (esp. of soldiers) in the open, with only tents or improvised shelter.
noun
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To encamp in the open.
verb
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An encampment for the night, usually without tents or covering.
noun
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Any temporary encampment.
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(dated) The watch of a whole army by night, when in danger of surprise or attack.
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To set up camp.

We'll bivouac here tonight.

verb
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To watch at night or be on guard, as a whole army.
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To encamp for the night without tents or covering.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
bivouac
Plural:
bivouacs

Origin of bivouac

  • French from German dialectal beiwacht supplementary night watch bei- beside (from Middle High German bi-) (from Old High German ambhi in Indo-European roots) Wacht watch, vigil (from Middle High German wahte) (from Old High German wahta weg- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Borrowing from French bivouac, formerly biouac, bivac, from Alemannic German beiwacht, biwacht (“a patrol of citizens added to in time of alarm or commotion to the regular town watch”), from bi, bei (“by”) + *wacht (“watch, guard”), from Middle High German wachte, from Old High German *wahta (“guard, watch”), from Proto-Germanic *wahtwō (“guard, watch”), from Proto-Indo-European *weǵ- (“to be awake, be fresh, be cheerful”). Compare German Beiwache (“a keeping watch”), German Wacht (“guard”). More at by, watch, wait.

    From Wiktionary