build bridges


build bridges


  • to foster good relationships
  • to support friendly relations between hostile groups
  • help to restore a friendly relationship after a disagreement
  • improve relationships between people who are very different or do not like each other
  • to build a compromise between reconciliation groups or people
  • to try to establish a happy relationship between opposition parties

Example Sentences

  1. A non-governmental organization is engaged in building bridges between different communal groups in the city.
  2. Sport is supposed to bring people together and build bridges.
  3. In Iraq, the pope hopes to encourage Christians and build bridges to Muslims. – The Catholic Universe
  4. John wants to build bridges with other students in the class.
  5. The police need to build bridges to minority communities to build trust and solicit help in investigations.
  6. She helped build bridges when they were first getting to know each other.
  7. They are trying to build bridges in our daily lives with people.


The phrase is originated from the Latin word pontifex that means a high priest – state minister in ancient Rome and a pontiff or bishop of the early Christian church, now specifically the Pope. The literal translation of the pontifex is a bridge builder.

Pontifex often interpreted as a compound originally meaning “bridge-maker“, either metaphorically “one who negotiates between gods and men” or literally if at some point the social class which supplied the priests was more or less identical with engineers that were responsible for building bridges.

Idiomatic ‘build bridges’ predates ‘burn bridges.’ Presumably, the building would always have to come first for the literal sense.

Related Quotes

  • Let’s build bridges, not walls. ― Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Men build too many walls and not enough bridges. ― Joseph Fort Newton
  • We build too many walls and not enough bridges. ― Isaac Newton

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