noun Also by.

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.
Golf. the holes of a stipulated course still unplayed after the match is finished.
Cricket. a run made on a ball not struck by the batsman.
something subsidiary, secondary, or out of the way.


Nearby words

  1. byatt,
  2. byatt, a. s.,
  3. byblos,
  4. byde,
  5. bydgoszcz,
  6. bye-,
  7. bye-blow,
  8. bye-bye,
  9. bye-byes,
  10. byelaw


    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





or bye



goodbye: By now, come again sometime!

Origin of by

by shortening


variant of by-: bye-election. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bye

British Dictionary definitions for bye




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

sentence substitute

British informal goodbye




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 , Sanskrit abhi to, towards



the internet domain name for

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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper