1

bivouac

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

Definition of bivouac

1 :a usually temporary encampment under little or no shelter
2 a :encampment usually for a night
b :a temporary or casual shelter or lodging

bivouac was our Word of the Day on 09/04/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of bivouac in a Sentence

  1. soldiers setting up a bivouac by the stream

Recent Examples of bivouac from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bivouac.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of bivouac

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

Other Military Terms


2

bivouac

verb

Definition of bivouac

bivouacked; bivouacking
intransitive verb
1 :to make a bivouac :camp
  • a place for the troops to bivouac
2 :to take shelter often temporarily
transitive verb
: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

Recent Examples of bivouac from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bivouac.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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

bivouac Synonyms

Synonyms
camp (out), encamp
Related Words
sleep out, tent; bed (down); backpack, caravan
Near Antonyms
eject, evict

BIVOUAC Defined for English Language Learners

bivouac

noun

Definition of bivouac for English Language Learners

  • : a temporary camp or shelter



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