[ brij ]
See synonyms for: bridgebridgesbridging on

  1. a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the like.

  2. a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or phase between two adjacent elements, activities, conditions, or the like: Working at the hospital was a bridge between medical school and private practice.

  1. Nautical.

    • a raised transverse platform from which a power vessel is navigated: often includes a pilot house and a chart house.

    • any of various other raised platforms from which the navigation or docking of a vessel is supervised.

    • a bridge house or bridge superstructure.

    • a raised walkway running fore-and-aft.

  2. Anatomy. the ridge or upper line of the nose.

  3. Dentistry. an artificial replacement, fixed or removable, of a missing tooth or teeth, supported by natural teeth or roots adjacent to the space.

  4. Music.

    • a thin, fixed wedge or support raising the strings of a musical instrument above the sounding board.

    • a transitional, modulatory passage connecting sections of a composition or movement.

    • (in jazz and popular music) the contrasting third group of eight bars in a thirty-two-bar chorus; channel; release.

  5. Also bridge passage . a passage in a literary work or a scene in a play serving as a movement between two other passages or scenes of greater importance.

  6. Ophthalmology. the part of a pair of eyeglasses that joins the two lenses and rests on the bridge or sides of the nose.

  7. Also called bridge circuit .Electricity. a two-branch network, including a measuring device, as a galvanometer, in which the unknown resistance, capacitance, inductance, or impedance of one component can be measured by balancing the voltage in each branch and computing the unknown value from the known values of the other components.: Compare Wheatstone bridge.

  8. Railroads. a gantry over a track or tracks for supporting waterspouts, signals, etc.

  9. Building Trades. a scaffold built over a sidewalk alongside a construction or demolition site to protect pedestrians and motor traffic from falling materials.

  10. Metallurgy.

    • a ridge or wall-like projection of fire brick or the like, at each end of the hearth in a metallurgical furnace.

    • any layer of partially fused or densely compacted material preventing the proper gravitational movement of molten material, as in a blast furnace or cupola, or the proper compacting of metal powder in a mold.

  11. (in a twist drill) the conoid area between the flutes at the drilling end.

  12. Billiards, Pool.

    • the arch formed by the hand and fingers to support and guide the striking end of a cue.

    • a notched piece of wood with a long handle, used to support the striking end of the cue when the hand cannot do so comfortably; rest.

  13. transitional music, commentary, dialogue, or the like, between two parts of a radio or television program, podcast, or other broadcast.

  14. Theater.

    • a gallery or platform that can be raised or lowered over a stage and is used by technicians, stagehands, etc., for painting scenery (paint bridge ), arranging and supporting lights (light bridge ), or the like.

    • British. a part of the floor of a stage that can be raised or lowered.

  15. Horology. a partial plate, supported at both ends, holding bearings on the side opposite the dial.: Compare cock1 (def. 10).

  16. Chemistry. a valence bond illustrating the connection of two parts of a molecule.

  17. a support or prop, usually timber, for the roof of a mine, cave, etc.

  18. any arch or rooflike figure formed by acrobats, dancers, etc., as by joining and raising hands.

verb (used with object),bridged, bridg·ing.
  1. to make a bridge or passage over; span: The township was laid out on the north bank in 1873, and the river was bridged in 1874. We believe there is a fundamental gulf between the parties, and no further bargaining will bridge that divide.

  2. to join by or as if by a bridge: A ladder bridged the two porches for access while we were repairing the steps.Using intentional strategies to bridge between a child’s home language and English in the early years will lead to stronger language skills in the future.

  1. to make (a way) by a bridge.

verb (used without object),bridged, bridg·ing.
  1. Foundry. (of molten metal) to form layers or areas heterogeneous either in material or in degree of hardness.

  1. (especially of clothing) less expensive than a manufacturer's most expensive products: showing his bridge line for the fall season.

Idioms about bridge

  1. bridge the gap, See entry at bridge the gap.

  2. burn one's bridges (behind one), to eliminate all possibilities of retreat; make one's decision irrevocable: She burned her bridges when she walked out angrily.

Origin of bridge

First recordedbefore 1000; Middle English brigge, brugge, bregge, Old English brycg, bricg; cognate with Dutch brug, German Brücke; akin to Old Norse bryggja “gangway; pier”

Other words for bridge

Other words from bridge

  • bridge·a·ble, adjective
  • bridge·less, adjective
  • bridge·like, adjective
  • un·bridge·a·ble, adjective
  • un·bridged, adjective

Words Nearby bridge

Other definitions for bridge (2 of 2)

[ brij ]

  1. a game derived from whist in which one partnership plays to fulfill a certain declaration against an opposing partnership acting as defenders.: Compare auction bridge, contract (def. 5).

Origin of bridge

First recorded in 1885–90; earlier britch, biritch; of obscure origin; perhaps from Turkish bir “one” + üç “three” (one hand being exposed while the other three are concealed), but such a name for the game is not attested in Turkey or the Middle East, from where it is alleged to have been introduced into Europe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use bridge in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bridge (1 of 3)


/ (brɪdʒ) /

  1. a structure that spans and provides a passage over a road, railway, river, or some other obstacle

  2. something that resembles this in shape or function: his letters provided a bridge across the centuries

    • the hard ridge at the upper part of the nose, formed by the underlying nasal bones

    • any anatomical ridge or connecting structure: Compare pons

  1. the part of a pair of glasses that rests on the nose

  2. Also called: bridgework a dental plate containing one or more artificial teeth that is secured to the surrounding natural teeth

  3. a platform athwartships and above the rail, from which a ship is piloted and navigated

  4. a piece of wood, usually fixed, supporting the strings of a violin, guitar, etc, and transmitting their vibrations to the sounding board

  5. Also called: bridge passage a passage in a musical, literary, or dramatic work linking two or more important sections

  6. Also called: bridge circuit electronics any of several networks, such as a Wheatstone bridge, consisting of two branches across which a measuring device is connected. The resistance, capacitance, etc, of one component can be determined from the known values of the others when the voltage in each branch is balanced

  7. computing a device that connects networks and sends packets between them

  8. billiards snooker

    • a support for a cue made by placing the fingers on the table and raising the thumb

    • a cue rest with a notched end for shots beyond normal reach

  9. theatre

    • a platform of adjustable height above or beside the stage for the use of stagehands, light operators, etc

    • mainly British a part of the stage floor that can be raised or lowered

  10. a partition in a furnace or boiler to keep the fuel in place

  11. build bridges to promote reconciliation or cooperation between hostile groups or people

  12. burn one's bridges See burn 1 (def. 19)

  13. cross a bridge when one comes to it to deal with a problem only when it arises; not to anticipate difficulties

  1. to build or provide a bridge over something; span: to bridge a river

  2. to connect or reduce the distance between: let us bridge our differences

Origin of bridge

Old English brycg; related to Old Norse bryggja gangway, Old Frisian bregge, Old High German brucka, Danish, Swedish bro

Derived forms of bridge

  • bridgeable, adjective
  • bridgeless, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for bridge (2 of 3)


/ (brɪdʒ) /

  1. a card game for four players, based on whist, in which one hand (the dummy) is exposed and the trump suit decided by bidding between the players: See also contract bridge, duplicate bridge, rubber bridge, auction bridge

Origin of bridge

C19: of uncertain origin, but compare Turkish bir-üç (unattested phrase) one-three (said perhaps to refer to the one exposed hand and the three players' hands)

British Dictionary definitions for Bridge (3 of 3)


/ (brɪdʒ) /

  1. Frank . 1879–1941, English composer, esp of chamber music. He taught Benjamin Britten

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

Scientific definitions for bridge


[ brĭj ]

  1. A structure spanning and providing passage over a gap or barrier, such as a river or roadway.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with bridge


see burn one's bridges; cross that bridge when one comes to it; water over the dam (under the bridge).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.