near to or next to:
a home by a lake.
over the surface of, through the medium of, along, or using as a route:
He came by the highway. She arrived by air.
on, as a means of conveyance:
They arrived by ship.
to and beyond the vicinity of; past:
He went by the church.
within the extent or period of; during:
by day; by night.
not later than; at or before:
I usually finish work by five o’clock.
to the extent or amount of:
The new house is larger than the old one by a great deal. He’s taller than his sister by three inches.
from the opinion, evidence, or authority of:
By his own account he was in Chicago at the time. I know him by sight.
according to; in conformity with:
This is a bad movie by any standards.
with (something) at stake; on:
to swear by all that is sacred.
through the agency, efficacy, work, participation, or authority of:
The book was published by Random House.
from the hand, mind, invention, or creativity of:
She read a poem by Emily Dickinson. The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison.
in consequence, as a result, or on the basis of:
We met by chance. We won the game by forfeit.
accompanied with or in the atmosphere of:
Lovers walk by moonlight.
in treatment or support of; for:
He did well by his children.
after; next after, as of the same items in a series:
piece by piece; little by little.
(in multiplication) taken the number of times as that specified by the second number, or multiplier:
Multiply 18 by 57.
(in measuring shapes) having an adjoining side of, as a width relative to a length:
a room 10 feet by 12 feet.
(in division) separated into the number of equal parts as that specified by the second number, or divisor:
Divide 99 by 33.
in terms or amounts of; in measuring units of:
Apples are sold by the bushel. I’m paid by the week.
begot or born of:
Eve had two sons by Adam.
(of quadrupeds) having as a sire:
Equipoise II by Equipoise.
Navigation. (as used in the names of the 16 smallest points on the compass) one point toward the east, west, north, or south of N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, or NW, respectively:
He sailed NE by N from Pago Pago.
into, at, or to:
Come by my office this afternoon.
near; in the immediate vicinity; at hand:
The school is close by.
to and beyond a point near something; past:
The car drove by.
Put your work by for the moment. Over the years, she laid by enough money to retire.
in times gone by.
(in bridge and other bidding card games) a declaration that the speaker is passing.
(in poker) a declaration that the speaker is checking:
Is my pair of tens still high? By me.
situated to one side:
They came down a by passage.
It was only a by comment.
by and by, in a short time; before long; presently:
The clouds will disappear by and by.
by and large, in general; on the whole:
By and large, there is much to be said for the new system.
by the by. bye1 (def 6).
By now, come again sometime!
a combining form of by1 :
by-product; bystander; byway.
used to indicate the agent after a passive verb: seeds eaten by the birds
used to indicate the person responsible for a creative work: this song is by Schubert
via; through: enter by the back door
followed by a gerund to indicate a means used: he frightened her by hiding behind the door
beside; next to; near: a tree by the house
passing the position of; past: he drove by the old cottage
not later than; before: return the books by Tuesday
used to indicate extent, after a comparative: it is hotter by five degrees than it was yesterday
(esp in oaths) invoking the name of: I swear by all the gods
multiplied by: four by three equals twelve
(in habitual sentences) during the passing of (esp in the phrases by day, by night)
placed between measurements of the various dimensions of something: a plank fourteen inches by seven
near: the house is close by
away; aside: he put some money by each week for savings
passing a point near something; past: he drove by
(Scot) past; over and done with: that’s a’ by now
(Scot) aside; behind one: you must put that by you
noun (pl) byes
a variant spelling of bye1
secondary or incidental: by-effect, by-election, by-path, by-product
(sport) the situation in which a player or team in an eliminatory contest wins a preliminary round by virtue of having no opponent
(golf) one or more holes of a stipulated course that are left unplayed after the match has been decided
(cricket) a run scored off a ball not struck by the batsman: allotted to the team as an extra and not to the individual batsman See also leg bye
something incidental or secondary
by the bye, incidentally; by the way: used as a sentence connector
(Brit, informal) goodbye
With; as far as concerns: Five skins is jake by me
At; to; at the place of: I’ll buy you a drink by Antek
Also, by a hairbreadth or whisker . Very narrowly. For example, His serve was out by a hair , or We made our flight by a hairbreadth , or Dad missed hitting the pole by a whisker . The first two hyperboles for the very narrowest margin date from the 1300s and 1400s respectively; whisker […]
a horse, team, etc., that has little chance of winning and carries long odds. an attempt or undertaking that offers much but in which there is little chance for success. Movies, Television. a camera shot taken at a relatively great distance from the subject and permitting a broad view of a scene. Compare closeup (def […]
see: miss by a mile
by a nose