See more synonyms for bye on
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.
  1. by1.
  1. by the bye, by the way; incidentally: By the bye, how do you spell your name?Also by the by.

Origin of bye

1710–20; variant spelling of by1 in its noun sense “side way”



or by

  1. goodbye.



or bye

  1. goodbye: By now, come again sometime!

Origin of by

by shortening


  1. variant of by-: bye-election. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bye

adieu, adios, arrivederci, bye, bye-bye, cheerio, sayonara

Examples from the Web for bye

Contemporary Examples of bye

Historical Examples of bye

British Dictionary definitions for bye


  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

Word Origin for bye

C16: a variant of by




sentence substitute
  1. British informal goodbye


  1. used to indicate the agent after a passive verbseeds eaten by the birds
  2. used to indicate the person responsible for a creative workthis song is by Schubert
  3. via; throughenter by the back door
  4. followed by a gerund to indicate a means usedhe frightened her by hiding behind the door
  5. beside; next to; neara tree by the house
  6. passing the position of; pasthe drove by the old cottage
  7. not later than; beforereturn the books by Tuesday
  8. used to indicate extent, after a comparativeit is hotter by five degrees than it was yesterday
  9. (esp in oaths) invoking the name ofI swear by all the gods
  10. multiplied byfour by three equals twelve
  11. (in habitual sentences) during the passing of (esp in the phrases by day, by night)
  12. placed between measurements of the various dimensions of somethinga plank fourteen inches by seven
  1. nearthe house is close by
  2. away; asidehe put some money by each week for savings
  3. passing a point near something; pasthe drove by
  4. Scot past; over and done withthat's a' by now
  5. Scot aside; behind oneyou must put that by you
noun plural byes
  1. a variant spelling of bye 1

Word Origin for by

Old English bī; related to Gothic bi, Old High German , Sanskrit abhi to, towards


the internet domain name for
  1. Belarus
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 bye

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.


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.



Old English be- (unstressed) or bi (stressed) "near, in, by, during, about," from Proto-Germanic *bi "around, about" (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian bi "by near," Middle Dutch bie, Dutch bij, German bei "by, at, near," Gothic bi "about"), from *umbi (cognate with second element in PIE *ambhi "around," cf. Sanskrit abhi "toward, to," Greek amphi- "around, about;" see ambi-).

Originally an adverbial particle of place, in which sense it is retained in place names (Whitby, Grimsby, etc.). Elliptical use for "secondary course" (opposed to main; e.g. byway, also cf. by-blow "illegitimate child," 1590s) was in Old English. This also is the sense of the second by in the phrase by the by (1610s). By the way literally means "in passing by" (mid-14c.); used figuratively to introduce a tangential observation by 1540s.

Phrase by and by (early 14c.) originally meant "one by one," modern sense is from 1520s. By and large (1660s) originally was nautical, "sailing to the wind and off it," hence "in one direction then another."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper