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.
  3. Nautical.
    1. a raised transverse platform from which a power vessel is navigated: often includes a pilot house and a chart house.
    2. any of various other raised platforms from which the navigation or docking of a vessel is supervised.
    3. a bridge house or bridge superstructure.
    4. a raised walkway running fore-and-aft.
  4. Anatomy. the ridge or upper line of the nose.
  5. Dentistry. an artificial replacement, fixed or removable, of a missing tooth or teeth, supported by natural teeth or roots adjacent to the space.
  6. Music.
    1. a thin, fixed wedge or support raising the strings of a musical instrument above the sounding board.
    2. a transitional, modulatory passage connecting sections of a composition or movement.
    3. (in jazz and popular music) the contrasting third group of eight bars in a thirty-two-bar chorus; channel; release.
  7. 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.
  8. Ophthalmology. the part of a pair of eyeglasses that joins the two lenses and rests on the bridge or sides of the nose.
  9. 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.
  10. Railroads. a gantry over a track or tracks for supporting waterspouts, signals, etc.
  11. Building Trades. a scaffold built over a sidewalk alongside a construction or demolition site to protect pedestrians and motor traffic from falling materials.
  12. Metallurgy.
    1. a ridge or wall-like projection of fire brick or the like, at each end of the hearth in a metallurgical furnace.
    2. 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.
  13. (in a twist drill) the conoid area between the flutes at the drilling end.
  14. Billiards, Pool.
    1. the arch formed by the hand and fingers to support and guide the striking end of a cue.
    2. 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.
  15. transitional music, commentary, dialogue, or the like, between two parts of a radio or television program.
  16. Theater.
    1. 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.
    2. British.a part of the floor of a stage that can be raised or lowered.
  17. Horology. a partial plate, supported at both ends, holding bearings on the side opposite the dial.Compare cock1(def 10).
  18. Chemistry. a valence bond illustrating the connection of two parts of a molecule.
  19. a support or prop, usually timber, for the roof of a mine, cave, etc.
  20. 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 road bridged the river.
  2. to join by or as if by a bridge: a fallen tree bridging the two porches.
  3. 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.


  1. 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.


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


  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 functionhis letters provided a bridge across the centuries
    1. the hard ridge at the upper part of the nose, formed by the underlying nasal bones
    2. any anatomical ridge or connecting structureCompare pons
  3. the part of a pair of glasses that rests on the nose
  4. Also called: bridgework a dental plate containing one or more artificial teeth that is secured to the surrounding natural teeth
  5. a platform athwartships and above the rail, from which a ship is piloted and navigated
  6. a piece of wood, usually fixed, supporting the strings of a violin, guitar, etc, and transmitting their vibrations to the sounding board
  7. Also called: bridge passage a passage in a musical, literary, or dramatic work linking two or more important sections
  8. 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
  9. computing a device that connects networks and sends packets between them
  10. billiards snooker
    1. a support for a cue made by placing the fingers on the table and raising the thumb
    2. a cue rest with a notched end for shots beyond normal reach
  11. theatre
    1. a platform of adjustable height above or beside the stage for the use of stagehands, light operators, etc
    2. mainly Britisha part of the stage floor that can be raised or lowered
  12. a partition in a furnace or boiler to keep the fuel in place
  13. build bridges to promote reconciliation or cooperation between hostile groups or people
  14. burn one’s bridges See burn 1 (def. 19)
  15. cross a bridge when one comes to it to deal with a problem only when it arises; not to anticipate difficulties

verb (tr)

  1. to build or provide a bridge over something; spanto bridge a river
  2. to connect or reduce the distance betweenlet us bridge our differences


  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 playersSee also contract bridge, duplicate bridge, rubber bridge, auction bridge

n.1“causeway over a ravine or river,” Old English brycge, from Proto-Germanic *brugjo (cf. Old Saxon bruggia, Old Norse bryggja, Old Frisian brigge, Dutch brug, Old High German brucca, German Brücke), from PIE root *bhru “log, beam,” hence “wooden causeway” (cf. Gaulish briva “bridge,” Old Church Slavonic bruvuno “beam,” Serbian brv “footbridge”). For vowel evolution, see bury. Meaning “bony upper part of the nose” is from early 15c.; of stringed instruments from late 14c. n.2card game, 1886 (perhaps as early as 1843), an alteration of biritch, but the source and meaning of that are obscure. “Probably of Levantine origin, since some form of the game appears to have been long known in the Near East” [OED]. One guess is that it represents Turkish *bir-üç “one-three,” because one hand is exposed and three are concealed. The game also was known early as Russian whist (attested in English from 1839). v.Old English brycgian “to bridge, make a causeway,” from bridge (n.). Related: Bridged; bridging. n.

  1. An anatomical structure resembling a bridge or span.
  2. The upper part of the ridge of the nose formed by the nasal bones.
  3. A fixed or removable replacement for one or several but not all of the natural teeth, usually anchored at each end to a natural tooth.
  4. One of the threads of protoplasm that appears to pass from one cell to another.

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

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

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