[rev-uh-lee; British ri-val-ee]


a signal, as of a drum or bugle, sounded early in the morning to awaken military personnel and to alert them for assembly.
a signal to arise.

Origin of reveille

1635–45; < French réveillez, plural imperative of réveiller to awaken, equivalent to r(e)- re- + éveiller, Old French esveillierLatin ēvigilāre to watch, be vigilant (ē- e-1 + vigilāre to watch; see vigil) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reveille

Contemporary Examples of reveille

Historical Examples of reveille

  • How different from what was passing around him, where the drummers were beating the reveille!

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin

  • Friday morning, December 20th, reveille was held in the rain at 5:45 o'clock.

    The Delta of the Triple Elevens

    William Elmer Bachman

  • We could distinctly hear the reveille of the rebel troops, and the hum of their camps.

  • September 30th was one of the days reveille sounded at 4:30 a. m.

    The Delta of the Triple Elevens

    William Elmer Bachman

  • When the reveille sounded the next morning we were leaving camp.

    A Soldier's Life

    Edwin G. Rundle

British Dictionary definitions for reveille



a signal, given by a bugle, drum, etc, to awaken soldiers or sailors in the morning
the hour at which this takes place
Also called (esp US): rouse

Word Origin for reveille

C17: from French réveillez! awake! from re- + Old French esveillier to be wakeful, ultimately from Latin vigilāre to keep watch; see vigil
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 reveille

1640s, from French réveillez-vous "awaken!" imperative plural of réveiller "to awaken, to wake up," from Middle French re- "again" (see re-) + eveiller "to rouse," from Vulgar Latin *exvigilare, from Latin ex- "out" + vigilare "be awake, keep watch" (see vigil).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper