Dictionary

1by

preposition \ˈbī, before consonants also bə\

: close to or next to (something or someone)

: up to and beyond (something or someone)

: at or to (someone's home)

Full Definition of BY

1
:  in proximity to :  near <standing by the window>
2
a :  through or through the medium of :  via <enter by the door>
b :  in the direction of :  toward <north by east>
c :  into the vicinity of and beyond :  past <went right by him>
3
a :  during the course of <studied by night>
b :  not later than <by 2 p.m.>
4
a :  through the agency or instrumentality of <by force>
b :  born or begot of
c :  sired or borne by
5
:  with the witness or sanction of <swear by all that is holy>
6
a :  in conformity with <acted by the rules>
b :  according to <called her by name>
7
a :  on behalf of <did right by his children>
b :  with respect to <a lawyer by profession>
8
a :  in or to the amount or extent of <win by a nose>
b chiefly Scottish :  in comparison with :  beside
9
—used as a function word to indicate successive units or increments <little by little> <walk two by two>
10
—used as a function word in multiplication, in division, and in measurements <divide a by b> <multiply 10 by 4> <a room 15 feet by 20 feet>
11
:  in the opinion of :  from the point of view of <okay by me>
by the by or by the bye
:  incidentally 2

Examples of BY

  1. His wife was sitting by him.
  2. They have a house by the lake.
  3. The bus went right by him without stopping.
  4. Some friends stopped by our house for a chat.
  5. Why don't you come by my place later?

Origin of BY

Middle English, preposition & adverb, from Old English, preposition, be, bī; akin to Old High German by, near, Latin ambi- on both sides, around, Greek amphi
First Known Use: before 12th century

Related to BY

Synonyms
through, via, by way of, by dint of, by means of, (or in) virtue of

Rhymes with BY

2by

adverb \ˈbī\

—used with put to describe something that is being kept or saved for a future use

: at or to someone's home

: close or near

Full Definition of BY

1
a :  close at hand :  near
b :  at or to another's home <stop by>
2
:  past <saw him go by>
3
:  aside, away

Examples of BY

  1. The bus went right by without stopping.
  2. We stood and applauded as the parade went by.
  3. Why don't you come by later?

First Known Use of BY

before 12th century

3by

adjective \ˈbī\

Definition of BY

1
:  being off the main route :  side
2

Variants of BY

by or bye \ˈbī\

First Known Use of BY

14th century

4by

noun \ˈbī\
plural byes \ˈbīz\

Definition of BY

:  something of secondary importance :  a side issue

Variants of BY

by or bye \ˈbī\

First Known Use of BY

1567

5by

interjection \ˈbī\

Definition of BY

—used to express farewell ; often used with following now

Variants of BY

by or bye \ˈbī\

Origin of BY

short for goodbye
First Known Use: 1709
BY Defined for Kids

1by

preposition \bī\

Definition of BY for Kids

1
:  close to :  near <His dog stood by the door.>
2
:  so as to go on <We went by the back road.> <I prefer to travel by bus.>
3
:  so as to go through <The burglar left by the back window.>
4
:  so as to pass <A policeman drove by the house.>
5
:  at 1, during <I travel by night.>
6
:  no later than <Be sure to leave by noon.>
7
:  with the use or help of <She won by cheating.>
8
:  through the action of <It was seen by the others.>
9
:  according to 1 <Play by the rules.>
10
:  with respect to <He is a lawyer by profession.> <She is a Canadian by birth.>
11
:  to the amount of <The youngest runner won by a mile.>
12
—used to join two or more measurements <a room 14 feet wide by 20 feet long> or to join the numbers in a statement of multiplication or division <Divide 8 by 4.>

2by

adverb

Definition of BY for Kids

1
:  near at hand <Stand by.>
2
:  4past <in days gone by> <We walked right by.>
by and by
:  after a while <We left by and by.>

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June 30, 2015
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