[ bahy ]
/ baɪ /
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.
aside; away: Put your work by for the moment. Over the years, she laid by enough money to retire.
over; past: 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.
adjective Also bye.
situated to one side: They came down a by passage.
secondary, incidental: It was only a by comment.
noun, plural byes.
DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?
"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
Idioms for by
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).
Origin of by1
before 900; Middle English; Old English bī; cognate with Dutch bij, Old High German bī (German bei), Gothic bi. See be-
synonym study for by
11. By, through, with indicate agency or means of getting something done or accomplished. By is regularly used to denote the agent (person or force) in passive constructions: It is done by many; destroyed by fire. It also indicates means: Send it by airmail. With denotes the instrument (usually consciously) employed by an agent: He cut it with the scissors. Through designates particularly immediate agency or instrumentality or reason or motive: through outside aid; to yield through fear; wounded through carelessness.
Words nearby by
Definition for by (2 of 4)
[ bahy ]
/ baɪ /
goodbye: By now, come again sometime!
Origin of by2
Definition for by (3 of 4)
[ bahy ]
/ baɪ /
Definition for by (4 of 4)
a combining form of by1: by-product; bystander; byway.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for by (1 of 5)
/ (baɪ) /
used to indicate the agent after a passive verbseeds eaten by the birds
used to indicate the person responsible for a creative workthis song is by Schubert
via; throughenter by the back door
followed by a gerund to indicate a means usedhe frightened her by hiding behind the door
beside; next to; neara tree by the house
passing the position of; pasthe drove by the old cottage
not later than; beforereturn the books by Tuesday
used to indicate extent, after a comparativeit is hotter by five degrees than it was yesterday
(esp in oaths) invoking the name ofI swear by all the gods
multiplied byfour 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 somethinga plank fourteen inches by seven
nearthe house is close by
away; asidehe put some money by each week for savings
passing a point near something; pasthe drove by
Scot past; over and done withthat's a' by now
Scot aside; behind oneyou must put that by you
noun plural byes
a variant spelling of bye 1
Word Origin for by
Old English bī; related to Gothic bi, Old High German bī, Sanskrit abhi to, towards
British Dictionary definitions for by (2 of 5)
the internet domain name for
British Dictionary definitions for by (3 of 5)
secondary or incidentalby-effect; by-election; by-path; by-product
Word Origin for by-
British Dictionary definitions for by (4 of 5)
/ (baɪ) /
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 batsmanSee also leg bye
something incidental or secondary
by the bye incidentally; by the way: used as a sentence connector
Word Origin for bye
C16: a variant of by
British Dictionary definitions for by (5 of 5)
British informal goodbye
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012