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bivouac

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noun biv·ouac \ˈbi-və-ˌwak, ˈbiv-ˌwak\

Definition of bivouac

  1. 1 :  a usually temporary encampment under little or no shelter

  2. 2a :  encampment usually for a nightb :  a temporary or casual shelter or lodging

Examples of bivouac in a sentence

  1. <soldiers setting up a bivouac by the stream>

Origin and Etymology of bivouac

French, from Low German biwacht, from bi by + wacht guard


First Known Use: 1819

Other Military Terms


2

bivouac

verb biv·ouac

Definition of bivouac

bivouacked

;

bivouacking

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make a bivouac :  camp <a place for the troops to bivouac>

  3. 2 :  to take shelter often temporarily

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to provide temporary quarters for <They were bivouacked in the gym during the storm.>

Examples of bivouac in a sentence

  1. <the army bivouacked for the night by the lake>

  2. <survivors of the tornado were bivouacked in the church basement>

Did You Know?

In his 1841 dictionary, Noah Webster observed bivouac to be a French borrowing having military origins. He defined the noun bivouac as "the guard or watch of a whole army, as in cases of great danger of surprise or attack" and the verb as "to watch or be on guard, as a whole army." The French word is derived from the Low German word biwacht, which translates to "by guard." Germans used the word specifically for a patrol of citizens who assisted the town watch at night. Today, bivouac has less to do with guarding and patrolling than it does with taking shelter.

Origin and Etymology of bivouac

see 1bivouac


First Known Use: 1809


BIVOUAC Defined for English Language Learners

1

bivouac

play
noun biv·ouac \ˈbi-və-ˌwak, ˈbiv-ˌwak\

Definition of bivouac for English Language Learners

  • : a temporary camp or shelter



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