bivouac (n.) 1702, from Fr. bivouac (17c.), ultimately from Swiss/Alsatian biwacht "night guard," from bei- "double, additional" + wacht "guard." 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.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

(without encamping)

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  • bivouac — [ bivwak ] n. m. • bivoie 1650; du suisse all. Biwacht « patrouille supplémentaire de nuit » 1 ♦ Vx Garde de nuit. 2 ♦ Installation provisoire en plein air de troupes en campagne. ⇒ campement, cantonnement. Coucher au bivouac. Feux de bivouac. Le …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bivouac — sans tente, dans une dépression neigeuse creusée pour accueillir un sac de couchage adapté aux températures hivernales. Un bivouac est un campement rudimentaire permettant de passer la nuit en pleine nature. Dans les pays développés le bivouac… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bivouac — may refer to: * Bivouac shelter, an encampment * Bivouac sack, or bivy sack or bivy bag, an extremely lightweight alternative to traditional tent systems * A military camp * Bivouac (ants), where a nest is constructed out of the living ant worker …   Wikipedia

  • bivouac — BIVOUAC. s. m. Quelques uns escrivent Bihouac. Garde extraordinaire qu on fait la nuit pour la seureté d un camp. Estre de garde au bivouac. aller au bivouac. coucher au bivouac …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Bivouac — Biv ouac, n. [F. bivouac, bivac, prab. fr. G. beiwache, or beiwacht; bei by, near + wachen to watch, wache watch, guard. See {By}, and {Watch}.] (Mil.) (a) The watch of a whole army by night, when in danger of surprise or attack. (b) An… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bivouac — Biv ouac, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Bivouacked} (?); p. pr. & vb. n. {Bivouacking}.] (Mil.) (a) To watch at night or be on guard, as a whole army. (b) To encamp for the night without tents or covering. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bivouac — Bivouac, s. Biwak …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Bivouac — (frz. Bihwuak), aus dem altdeutschen Beiwacht. Lager der Truppen unter freiem Himmel, seit dem 7jährigen Kriege und noch mehr seit dem Revolutionskriege bei schnellen Bewegungen und besonders kurz vor der Schlacht gewöhnlich. Die früher… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Bivouac — A woollen dress goods fabric made with the nub yam in small twill effects to keep the small nubs on the face …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • bivouac — verb has inflected forms bivouacked, bivouacking …   Modern English usage

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