Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A fortified position from which troops defend the end of a bridge nearest the enemy.
  • n. A forward position seized by advancing troops in enemy territory as a foothold for further advance.
  • n. The area immediately adjacent to the end of a bridge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An area around the end of a bridge.
  • n. A fortification around the end of a bridge.
  • n. An area of ground on the enemy's side of a bridge, especially one that needs to be taken and defended in order to secure an advance.
  • n. Either of the two atoms in different parts of a molecule that are connected by a bridge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fortification commanding the extremity of a bridge nearest the enemy, to insure the preservation and usefulness of the bridge, and prevent the enemy from crossing; a tête-de-pont.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In fortification, a work covering that end of a bridge which is most exposed to an enemy; a tête-de-pont.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an area in hostile territory that has been captured and is held awaiting further troops and supplies
  • n. a defensive post at the end of a bridge nearest to the enemy

Etymologies

Translation of French tête de pont : tête, head + de, of + pont, bridge.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
bridge +‎ -head; A calque translation of the French tête de pont. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Close by the bridgehead was a curious structure like a huge beehive, about ten feet high and built of stone blocks.

    Flashman And The Mountain Of Light

  • Finally there was the so-called bridgehead of Zagrody which was constructed for the protection of the street and railroad bridges crossing the river to the east of Radymno.

    New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 5, August, 1915

  • The TUV founder predicted victory would form a "bridgehead" which would win the party seats in next year's assembly elections.

    Elections - fresh news by plazoo.com

  • By taking over the company, OMV said it was raising its presence in Turkey, which it considers a "bridgehead" to the Middle East and the Caspian region.

    OMV Taking Over Petrol Ofisi of Turkey - NYTimes.com

  • WALES will benefit from the London Olympics if it uses the Games as a "bridgehead" to bring sport into education, Sebastian Coe insisted today.

    WalesOnline - Home

  • With one million German settlers in Brazil already, he argued the seedcorn was already there for the expansion of the Third Reich and that they could secure a 'bridgehead' against American influence in the region.

    Aftermath News

  • Only a directive from Montgomery stopped the 2nd Armored Division from seizing a Rhine bridgehead south of Düsseldorf.

    Between War and Peace

  • Two army divisions initiated the offensive out of the bridgehead on April 4.

    Between War and Peace

  • Exploitation of the Remagen bridgehead quickly followed.

    Between War and Peace

  • And he's planning a second listing, in Hong Kong, which he says is a useful bridgehead for China mergers and acquisitions.

    Locking In The Profits

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