A bridge is a structure
Architectural structure
An architectural structure is a free-standing, immobile outdoor constructed element. The structure may be temporary or permanent.Structures include buildings and nonbuilding structures . Examples of building structures include houses, town halls, libraries, and skyscrapers...

 built to span
Span (architecture)
Span is the distance between two intermediate supports for a structure, e.g. a beam or a bridge.A span can be closed by a solid beam or of a rope...

 physical obstacles such as a body of water
Body of water
A body of water or waterbody is any significant accumulation of water, usually covering the Earth or another planet. The term body of water most often refers to large accumulations of water, such as oceans, seas, and lakes, but it may also include smaller pools of water such as ponds, puddles or...

, valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

, or road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle. Designs of bridges vary depending on the function of the bridge, the nature of the terrain where the bridge is constructed, the material used to make it and the funds available to build it.
The Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

 traces the origin of the word bridge to an Old English word brycg, of the same meaning, derived from a hypothetical Proto-Germanic root brugjō.