- The definition of by is in the immediate region, or to go past something.
- An example of by is how one describes the closeness of a church down the street.
- An example of by is a bike passing a walker on the street.
- By means near or next to, and it also means through which.
- An example of by is a red house set adjacent to a green house.
- An example of by is the author of a novel.
- near in space; beside; at: stand by the wall
- in or during the time of: travel by night
- not later than: be back by ten o'clock
- via; through, along, or over: driving home by the dirt road
- past; beyond: to march by the reviewing stand
- to or within a distance of: missed the putt by a foot
- toward: north by northwest
- in behalf of: he did well by his friends
- with respect to (a given category): a lawyer by profession
- through the means, work, or operations of: a trip by train, a pact reached by negotiation, made by craftsmen, poems (written) by Poe
- through the activity or effort of: used before gerunds: he won by practicing daily
- produced with (the other parent): a son by my first husband
- following in series: marching two by two
- with the authority or sanction of: by your leave
- according to; in a manner consistent with: playing by the rules
- in the name of: used in oaths: by all that's holy
- Informal in the opinion of; with: the plans are OK by me
- in the amount of, or to the extent or degree of: apples by the peck
- at the rate or pace of: growing dark by degrees, paid by the hour
- and in another dimension: two feet by four feet
- using (the given number) as multiplier or divisor
Origin of byMiddle English by, bi, be from Old English be (unstressed), bi (stressed) from Germanic an unverified form bi, around, about, akin to Classical Greek amphi, Classical Latin ambi: see by-, be; origin, originally adv. of place, meaning “beside, near,” but already highly specialized preposition in Old English
- close at hand; near: stand by
- away; aside: we have put money by
- close in passing; past: the car sped by
- at the place specified or understood: stop by on your way home
alt. sp. of bye
by and by
- Obs. immediately
- after a short while; soon
- sooner or later; eventually
by and large
on the whole; considering everything
- alone; solitary
by the by
- close by; near: bystander
- side: bystreet
- on the side; secondary; incidental to the main: byproduct
Origin of by-from by
- Close to; next to: the window by the door.
- With the use or help of; through: We came by the back road.
- Up to and beyond; past: We drove by the house.
- At or to: stopped by the bakery; came by the house.
- In the period of; during: sleeping by day.
- Not later than: by 5:30 PM.
- a. In the amount of: letters by the thousands.b. To the extent of: shorter by two inches.
- a. According to: played by the rules.b. With respect to: siblings by blood.
- In the name of: swore by the Bible to tell the truth.
- Through the agency or action of: was killed by a bullet.
- Used to indicate a succession of specified individuals, groups, or quantities: One by one they left. They were persuaded little by little.
- a. Used in multiplication and division: Multiply 4 by 6 to get 24.b. Used with measurements: a room 12 by 18 feet.c. Toward. Used to express direction with points of the compass: south by east.
- On hand; nearby: Stand by.
- Aside; away: We put it by for later.
- Up to, alongside, and past: The car raced by.
- At or to one's home or current location: Stop by later today.
- Into the past: as years go by.
Origin of byMiddle English bi, be from Old English bī, be ; see ambhi in Indo-European roots.
Variant of bye1
- By: bygone.
- Secondary, incidental: byway.
- Near or next to.
- The mailbox is by the bus stop.
- At some time before (the given time), or before the end of a given time interval.
- Be back by ten o'clock!
- We will send it by the first week of July.
- Indicates the actor in a clause with its verb in the passive voice Through the action or presence of.
- The matter was decided by the chairman.
- The boat was swamped by the water.
- He was protected by his body armour.
- Indicates the creator of a work Existing through the authorship etc of.
- There are many well-known plays by William Shakespeare
- Indicates the cause of a condition or event Through the action of, caused by, responsibility for; by dint of.
- Indicates a means Involving/using the means of.
- I avoided the guards by moving only when they weren't looking.
- Indicates a source of light (medium emanating from hot sources)
- Indicates a rule followed Using the rules or logic of.
- I sorted the items by category.
- Indicates the amount of some progression With a change of.
- Our stock is up by ten percent.
- In the formulae X by X and by Xs, indicates a steady progression, one X after another.
- We went through the book page by page.
- We crawled forward by inches.
- Indicates a referenced source According to.
- He cheated by his own admission.
- Indicates an oath With the authority of.
- By Jove! I think she's got it!
- By all that is holy, I'll put an end to this.
- Used to separate dimensions when describing the size of something.
- It is easy to invert a 2-by-2 matrix.
- The room was about 4 foot by 6 foot.
- The bricks used to build the wall measured 10 by 20 by 30 cm.
- Along a path which runs by the speaker.
- I watched as it passed by.
- In the vicinity, near.
- There was a shepherd close by.
- The shop is hard by the High Street.
- To or at a place, as a residence or place of business.
- I'll stop by on my way home from work.
- We're right near the lifeguard station. Come by before you leave.
- Aside, away.
- The women spent much time after harvest putting jams by for winter and spring.
- Out of the way, subsidiary.
- (card games) A pass
- Alternative spelling of bye.
From Old English bī (“being near”).
- habitation when used as a suffix to many placenames
From a Norse language
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