I faced with the using the verb "to bridge" in IT context (as an example below), and I am not sure whether it is right to use it in a sense of connecting smth to smth. For example,

For using the microphone, pick "bridge" device up in your laptop sound settings.


The speakers have to bridge automatically, if not follow aforementioned directions.

As far as I know the verb "to bridge" is used only in the context of building physical bridges and I couldn't find any other example of usage.

Also are there some words which could define the different meaning of connecting the device to another device physically and electronically (like through the PC program)?

There is a device called "bridge" in IT field, as Tetsujin have mentioned, so using it in different sense could be confusing.

  • Your sentence is not idiomatic. For using... is not correct (it should be To use), and it would be "pick" not "pick up".
    – TimR
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 17:02
  • I would use "connect" for physical connections and "interface" for data connectivity between one device and another.
    – user3169
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 22:52

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you are encountering this term specifically in an Audio application. In audio, an audio bridge mixes multiple audio inputs.

If you have a piece of audio hardware connected to your computer, or a similar virtual device installed, then this "audio bridge" should show up in your computer's Playback and Recording devices.

I think that your instructions are telling you to select this "bridge" from the list of recording devices (microphones) and/or playback devices (speakers).

  • So is this "bridge" a verb or a noun?
    – Gamilato
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 14:28
  • I can't be dogmatic about this, but from the details you've given I believe it is a noun. I believe it is the name of an audio device.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 15:08
  • 1
    [I hate to jump into 2 answers on the same thing, referring to different specialist fields] - but as pro audio engineer of 40 years' experience... I had to Google 'audio bridge'. It does appear to be a computing term for 'inter-application routing'... Back in my day we just called it 'inter-application routing' ;-) Apple's structure was always called IAC - Inter-Application Connection & is still present in the latest macOS. idk what Windows would call it, mainly because Windows cannot do this type of structure natively & needs 'help'. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 16:36
  • @Tetsujin I believe that aspect is covered by my mentioning virtual devices. I'm not 100% sure but I believe the way that Windows handles it non-natively is to treat the software as a piece of hardware. Either way, this isn't a tech forum, and I'm confident that in the OP's examples "bridge" is the name of an audio input and/or audio output on their device.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 8:09

So, normally "to bridge" has the implication of building a literal bridge, or a metaphorical one over some kind of viewpoint chasm. In your examples, it would make more sense to use "connect" or "pair".

  • So it is unnatural way to use the word "bridge", right? Is it okay also to use in this sense the verb "to join up"?
    – Gamilato
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 12:56
  • Well, in your examples, we would usually use bridge to refer to the actual item connecting two objects, e.g. "the computer is in a different room than the modem, so I can bridge the two by using a really long network cable or a wireless router". I wouldn't use "join up" like that. It has the same awkwardness as bridge.
    – pboss3010
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:17
  • So only 'connect'? But how can I differentiate two connecting activities in such sentence: "To connect the speakers and microphone, you need to bridge them up with your laptop through the laptop output/input device settings"?
    – Gamilato
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:21
  • 1
    @Gamilato - In "IT speak" a bridge is a quite specific networking device. I would avoid it in any other situation. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 13:23

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