[biv-oo-ak, biv-wak]
a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire.
the place used for such an encampment.
verb (used without object), bivouacked, bivouacking.
to rest or assemble in such an area; encamp.

1700–10; < French < Swiss German bīwacht auxiliary patrol, equivalent to bī- by- + wacht patrol, watch Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bivouac (ˈbɪvʊˌæk, ˈbɪvwæk)
1.  a temporary encampment with few facilities, as used by soldiers, mountaineers, etc
vb , -acs, -acking, -acked
2.  (intr) to make such an encampment
[C18: from French bivuac, probably from Swiss German Beiwacht, literally: by + watch]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1702, from Fr. bivouac, 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
News media outlets erected a broadcasting bivouac amid the red bricks and river birches at the city's government plaza.
There the bees bivouac while a small percentage of them go searching for new real estate.
His living room has the poised-for-departure air of a boho bivouac.
Much of their climbing was done in winter so they knew how to winter climb, how to survive the cold, how to bivouac in winter.
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