I. bridge 1 S2 W2 /brɪdʒ/ BrE AmE noun
[ Sense 1-3, 5-8: Language: Old English ; Origin: brycg ]
[ Sense 4: Date: 1800-1900 ; Origin: biritch 'bridge' (1800-1900) , perhaps from an unrecorded Turkish bir-üç 'one-three' ]
1 . OVER A RIVER/ROAD ETC [countable] a structure built over a river, road etc that allows people or vehicles to cross from one side to the other ⇨ ↑ suspension bridge , ↑ swing bridge
2 . CONNECTION [countable] something that provides a connection between two things SYN link
The training programme is seen as a bridge between school and work.
a scheme to build bridges (=make a better relationship) between the police and the community
3 . SHIP [countable usually singular] the raised part of a ship from which the officers control it
4 . CARD GAME [uncountable] a card game for four players, who play in pairs
5 . the bridge of your nose the upper part of your nose between your eyes
6 . PAIR OF GLASSES [countable usually singular] the part of a pair of glasses that rests on your nose
7 . MUSICAL INSTRUMENT [countable usually singular] a small piece of wood under the strings of a ↑ violin or ↑ guitar , used to keep them in position
8 . FOR TEETH [countable] a small piece of metal that keeps false teeth in place by attaching them to your real teeth
⇨ burn your bridges at ↑ burn 1 (18), ⇨ cross that bridge when you come to it at ↑ cross 1 (10), ⇨ be (all) water under the bridge at ↑ water 1 (6)
• • •
▪ build a bridge ( also erect a bridge formal )
Finally a new bridge was erected over the road.
▪ cross a bridge
An estimated 150,000 cars cross the bridge each day.
▪ a bridge crosses something
A pretty stone bridge crosses the little river.
▪ a bridge spans something (=crosses a wide area)
By 1875 a railroad bridge spanned the Missouri.
▪ a bridge links something to/with something
There's a road bridge linking the site with Stockton town centre.
■ types of bridge
▪ a stone/wooden/iron bridge
The iron bridge was built in 1811.
▪ a railway bridge British English , a railroad bridge American English (=for trains)
Go under the railway bridge and turn right.
▪ a road bridge (=for cars)
The government plans to construct a new road bridge to the island.
▪ a suspension bridge (=one that hangs from strong steel ropes)
A famous suspension bridge spans the estuary.
▪ a swing bridge British English (=one that can be pulled up for ships to go under)
▪ a toll bridge (=one that you pay to go across)
▪ a humpback bridge British English (=a short bridge with a steep slope at each side)
II. bridge 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]
1 . to reduce or get rid of the difference between two things:
The differences between our two cultures can be bridged if we continue to communicate.
Alvin managed to bridge the gap between ballet and modern dance.
2 . written to build or form a bridge over something:
a fallen tree bridging the stream