View synonyms for stop by

stop by

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Idioms and Phrases

Also, stop in . Pay a brief visit, as in I hope you'll stop by this afternoon , or He stopped in at Martha's whenever he came to New York on business . The first term dates from about 1900, the variant from the mid-1800s.


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More About Stop By

What does stop by mean?

Stop by means to briefly or casually visit a place or to stay there for a short time.

A person who stops by a place doesn’t stay there for very long, as in She promised to at least stop by whenever she was in town. 

Sometimes, the phrase implies that it is done as one of several stops, as in I might stop by the post office on my way to the grocery store.

The similar phrase stop in has the same meaning as stop by, as in Janet stopped in just to say hello. 

The phrases stop over, drop by, drop in, and drop over often mean the same thing.

In many cases, these terms imply that the visit was unannounced or unexpected, as in You’ll never guess who stopped by earlier. 

Sometimes, the words stop and by appear next to each other in a sentence when they are not being used as a phrase. In these cases, the word by is being used as a preposition meaning something like at or next to, as in Stop by that orange cone there. 

Example: Did your sister every stop by to get that saw that we borrowed?

Where does stop by come from?

The first records of the verb phrase stop by come from around 1900. The first records of stop in come from around the same time. Both of these phrases use the word stop to mean “pause” or “halt.”

However, this stop is a temporary one—or at least it’s intended or implied to be. In many cases, when a person stops by a place, it’s as one of multiple stops they are making. Sometimes, though, when a person says they are going to stop by, the visit ends up being much longer than anticipated. On the other hand, stop by is sometimes used when a person doesn’t want to or can’t commit to visiting, as in I might stop by today if I get the chance.

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What are some synonyms for stop by?

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How is stop by used in real life?

Stop by is typically used in the context of short visits or brief stays. It sometimes implies that such a visit was unannounced.



Try using stop by!

Is stop by used correctly in the following sentence?

My cousin stopped by for tea but he had to leave for an appointment.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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