biv·ou·ac (bĭv-ăk′, bĭvwăk′)
A temporary encampment often in an unsheltered area.
intr.v. biv·ou·acked, biv·ou·ack·ing, biv·ou·acs also biv·ou·acks
To camp in a bivouac.
[French, from German dialectal beiwacht, supplementary night watch : bei-, beside (from Middle High German bi-, from Old High German; see ambhi in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + Wacht, watch, vigil (from Middle High German wahte, from Old High German wahta; see weg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.