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bye1

[bahy]
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noun Also by.
  1. Sports. in a tournament, the preferential status of a player or team not paired with a competitor in an early round and thus automatically advanced to play in the next round: The top three seeded players received byes in the first round.
  2. Golf. the holes of a stipulated course still unplayed after the match is finished.
  3. Cricket. a run made on a ball not struck by the batsman.
  4. something subsidiary, secondary, or out of the way.
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adjective
  1. by1.
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Idioms
  1. by the bye, by the way; incidentally: By the bye, how do you spell your name?Also by the by.
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Origin of bye1

1710–20; variant spelling of by1 in its noun sense “side way”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for by the bye

bye1

noun
  1. sport the situation in which a player or team in an eliminatory contest wins a preliminary round by virtue of having no opponent
  2. golf one or more holes of a stipulated course that are left unplayed after the match has been decided
  3. 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
  4. something incidental or secondary
  5. by the bye incidentally; by the way: used as a sentence connector
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Word Origin

C16: a variant of by

bye2

bye-bye

sentence substitute
  1. British informal goodbye
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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

Word Origin and History for by the bye

bye

1

in sporting use, a variant of by (prep). Originally in cricket, "a run scored on a ball that is missed by the wicket-keeper" (1746); later, in other sports, "position of one who is left without a competitor when the rest have drawn pairs" (1883), originally in lawn-tennis.

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bye

2

shortened form of good-bye. Reduplication bye-bye is recorded from 1709, though as a sound used to lull a child to sleep it is attested from 1630s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with by the bye

by the bye

Also, by the by. Incidentally, in passing, as in By the bye, my wife is coming too, or Exactly where do you live, by the by? The bye or second by in this term originally meant “a side path,” whence the current sense of “off the track” or “of secondary importance.” [Early 1500s] Also see by the way.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.