1The bridge of a stringed instrument.
2A style of playing the violin, cello, etc., in which the bow is played close to the bridge; an example of this.
As a musical direction: with the bowing close to the bridge.
Designating the sound produced by bowing close to the bridge.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in James Grassineau (c1715–1769). From Italian ponticello bridge of a stringed instrument, little bridge from post-classical Latin ponticellus little bridge, alteration (after classical Latin -ellus) of classical Latin ponticulus little bridge (from ponti-, alternative stem of pōns bridge + -culus).