[ goh-bahy ]
/ ˈgoʊˌbaɪ /

noun Informal.

a going by without notice; an intentional passing by; snub: to give one the go-by.



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Origin of go-by

First recorded in 1605–15; noun use of verb phrase go by

Definition for go by (2 of 2)

Origin of go

before 900; Middle English gon, Old English gān; cognate with Old High German gēn, German gehen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for go by (1 of 5)

go by

verb (intr)

to passthe cars went by; as the years go by we all get older; don't let those opportunities go by!
(preposition) to be guided byin the darkness we could only go by the stars
(preposition) to use as a basis for forming an opinion or judgmentit's wise not to go only by appearances

British Dictionary definitions for go by (2 of 5)

/ military /

abbreviation for

general order

British Dictionary definitions for go by (3 of 5)



slang a deliberate snub or slight (esp in the phrase give (a person) the go-by)

British Dictionary definitions for go by (4 of 5)

/ (ɡəʊ) /

verb goes, going, went or gone (mainly intr)

noun plural goes


(postpositive) informal functioning properly and ready for action: esp used in astronauticsall systems are go

Word Origin for go

Old English gān; related to Old High German gēn, Greek kikhanein to reach, Sanskrit jahāti he forsakes

British Dictionary definitions for go by (5 of 5)



/ (ɡəʊ) /


a game for two players in which stones are placed on a board marked with a grid, the object being to capture territory on the board

Word Origin for go

from Japanese
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

Idioms and Phrases with go by

go by


Elapse, pass, as in the popular song, “As Time Goes By” (by Herman Hupfeld, 1931), or He just went by our house. [c. 1600]


Ignore, fail to notice or take advantage of, as in You shouldn't let this opportunity go by. [Early 1500s] For the related go by the board, see by the board.


Rely on, believe, as in I'm going by the numbers on this list, or We'll have to go by what she tells us.


go by the name of. Be known by or use a specific name. For example, She continued to go by her maiden name, Mary Smith. [Late 1500s]

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