Dictionary Definitions of ‘Contract Bridge’

When I first came to hear of this contract bridge, it didn’t take me long to look up the term in the nearest dictionary. Right there, my entire life changed.

I was hooked, of course, and I imagine that many bridge players have followed the same path to get to the game. This inspired me to take a closer look at some dictionary definitions of “contract bridge” from several different sources.

Here’s what the different dictionaries had to say.

(Grab your closest and post the answer!)

The Online Etymology DictionaryEtymonline.com

bridge (n.2)card game, 1886 (perhaps as early as 1843), an alteration of biritch, but the source and meaning of that are obscure. “Probably of Levantine origin, since some form of the game appears to have been long known in the Near East” [OED]. One guess is that it represents Turkish *bir-üç “one-three,” because one hand is exposed and three are concealed. The game also was known early as Russian whist (attested in English from 1839).

Websters Dictionary in 1828

noun A game at cards, so called because it requires silence or close attention. It is not in America pronounced whisk.

The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English – Encyclopedia.com

n. the standard form of the card game bridge, in which only tricks bid and won count toward the game, as opposed to auction bridge.

Simple WikipediaWikipedia

Contract bridge, or simply bridge, is a trick-taking card game which is played by two pairs of players, one pair against the other pair.[1] Partners sit opposite each other at a table.[2]


Contract bridge, card game developed in the 1920s that was the final step in the historical progression from whist to bridge whist to auction bridge to contract bridge.