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.
situated to one side: They came down a by passage.
secondary, incidental: It was only a by comment.
Idioms about 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.
How to use by in a sentence
A step-by-step plan to break from your various technology addictions.
Those snakes attacked unwitting passers-by, or invaded homes and hotels.The Buddhist Business of Poaching Animals for Good Karma | Brendon Hong | December 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Horniness packs side-by-side by with a deeper loneliness along the walls of The Park.The Craziest Date Night for Single Jews, Where Mistletoe Is Ditched for Shots | Emily Shire | December 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
On Sept. 7, 1996, Tupac was targeted and killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.Rapper Bobby Shmurda Arrested at New York’s Notorious Quad Studios | M.L. Nestel | December 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
They logged every incident and released depressing day-by-day accounts of the carnage.ISIS Fighters Are Killing Faster than Statisticians Can Count | Peter Schwartzstein | December 5, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
All along the highways and by-paths of our literature we encounter much that pertains to this "queen of plants."Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
John was baptizing at a large pool called Ænon-by-Saleim,—probably allegorical, meaning “Fountain of Repose.”Solomon and Solomonic Literature | Moncure Daniel Conway
The sewing-machine made a resounding clatter in the room; it was of a ponderous, by-gone make.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
Mr. Spurrell came down to see a horse, and we shall be very glad to have the benefit of his opinion by-and-by.
Mr. Slocum was not educated in a university, and his life has been in by-paths, and out-of-the-way places.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
British Dictionary definitions for by (1 of 3)
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
a variant spelling of bye 1
British Dictionary definitions for by (2 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for by- (3 of 3)
secondary or incidental: by-effect; by-election; by-path; by-product
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