bridge the gap: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘bridge the gap’ mean?

To "bridge the gap" means to create a connection or find a solution that brings together two different things or groups that are separated or different from each other.

Idiom Explorer

"Bridging the Chasm"

Bridge the gap is a widely used idiom in the English language. The idiom implies connecting two different things or bridging the distance between them. It is often used in contexts where there is a need to bring together two different groups, ideas, or concepts. The idiom is figurative in nature and does not refer to an actual physical bridge. Instead, it represents the act of creating a connection or finding common ground.

One interpretation of the idiom is to overcome a difference or disparity between two entities. It suggests the need to resolve a gap or distance that exists between them. This can be in terms of understanding, communication, or relationship. By using the idiom, speakers convey the idea of finding a solution or method to bring two disparate elements closer together.

The origin of this idiom cannot be traced back to a specific source or event. It is widely used and has become a part of everyday language. The phrase "bridge the gap" can be found in various written documents dating back to the mid-20th century. However, it is important to note that the idiom might have been in oral usage even before it appeared in written form.

He built a bridge to span the narrow gap.

Although the idiom is widely used, it is more commonly found in formal or professional contexts where there is a need to discuss or address a gap between different entities. For example, it is often used in fields such as business, education, and social sciences. In these contexts, the idiom conveys the idea of finding a solution or strategy to bring together different groups or ideas.

The usage of the idiom is not limited to any specific geographical region or culture. It is used in both British and American English, and its meaning remains consistent across different dialects. The idiom is also found in other languages, though its exact translation might vary. In French, for instance, the phrase "combler le fossé" is used to convey a similar meaning.

While the idiom is commonly used, it is important to consider its limitations and potential misinterpretations. As with all idioms, the meaning of "bridge the gap" is not always transparent and can vary based on the context in which it is used. It is crucial to understand the specific situation in which the idiom is employed to accurately interpret its meaning. Additionally, the idiom does not provide specific details or guidance on how to bridge the gap, leaving room for individual interpretation and creativity.

The idiom "bridge the gap" is a widely used phrase that implies connecting two different entities or resolving a difference between them. Its origin cannot be traced back to a specific source, but it has become a part of everyday language, particularly in formal or professional contexts. While the idiom is widely understood, its meaning can vary based on the context and it does not provide specific instructions on how to bridge the gap. Nevertheless, it serves as a valuable tool for expressing the need to bring together disparate elements and create connections.

Example usage


  • She was hired to bridge the gap between the management and the employees.
  • The government is working on a new program to bridge the gap in healthcare services for rural communities.
  • The new technology aims to bridge the gap between virtual reality and real-world experience.

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