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bivouac

[biv-oo-ak, biv-wak]
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noun
  1. a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire.
  2. the place used for such an encampment.
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verb (used without object), biv·ou·acked, biv·ou·ack·ing.
  1. to rest or assemble in such an area; encamp.
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Origin of bivouac

1700–10; < French < Swiss German bīwacht auxiliary patrol, equivalent to bī- by- + wacht patrol, watch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

hoverlingerstoplivecontinueendurestandpersistlastprevailsurvivewaitresideperchtarryrestfreezesquatbunkvisit

Examples from the Web for bivouacking

Historical Examples

  • During this day they contented themselves with bivouacking there on the beach at the harbour.

    Anabasis

    Xenophon

  • While bivouacking on the Hiawasse, a citizen named Trotter, came into camp.

  • I am writing this in the woods, where we are bivouacking for the night.

  • The fifth company was bivouacking at the very edge of the forest.

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

  • For he learned that they were bivouacking on the Nile to see the sunrise.

    The Wave

    Algernon Blackwood


British Dictionary definitions for bivouacking

bivouac

noun
  1. a temporary encampment with few facilities, as used by soldiers, mountaineers, etc
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verb -acs, -acking or -acked
  1. (intr) to make such an encampment
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Word Origin

C18: from French bivuac, probably from Swiss German Beiwacht, literally: by + watch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bivouacking

bivouac

n.

1702, from French bivouac (17c.), ultimately from Swiss/Alsatian biwacht "night guard," from bei- "double, additional" + wacht "guard" (see wait (v.)). Original meaning was an army that stayed up on night watch; sense of "outdoor camp" is 1853. Not a common word in English before the Napoleonic Wars. Italian bivacco is from French. As a verb, 1809, "to post troops in the night;" meaning "camp out of doors" is from 1814.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper