\ ˈbī How to pronounce by (audio) , before consonants also \

Definition of by

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : in proximity to : near standing by the window
2a : into the vicinity of and beyond : past went right by him
b : through or through the medium (see medium entry 1 sense 2) of : via enter by the door
c : in the direction of : toward sailed north by east
3a : during the course of studied by night
b : not later than be there by 2 p.m.
4a : through the agency (see agency sense 3) or instrumentality of a poem written by Keats death by firing squad taken by force happened by luck
b : born or begot of had two sons by his first wife one child by her second husband
c : sired or borne by having foals by champion race horses
5 : with the witness or sanction (see sanction entry 1 sense 4c) of swear by all that is holy
6a : in conformity with acted by the rules
b : according to called her by name sold by the pound
7 used as a function word in multiplication, in division, and in measurementsdivide a by bmultiply 10 by 4a room 15 feet by 20 feet
8a : with respect to a lawyer by profession
b : on behalf of did right by his children
9 : in or to the amount or extent of win by a nose
b chiefly Scotland : in comparison with : beside
10 used as a function word to indicate successive units or incrementslittle by littlewalk two by two
11 : in the opinion of : from the point of view of OK by me
by the by or by the bye
\ ˈbī How to pronounce by (audio) \

Definition of by (Entry 2 of 5)

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

by

noun
\ ˈbī How to pronounce by (audio) \
variants: or bye
plural byes\ ˈbīz How to pronounce byes (audio) \

Definition of by (Entry 3 of 5)

: something of secondary importance : a side issue by the by
\ ˈbī How to pronounce by (audio) \
variants: or bye

Definition of by (Entry 4 of 5)

1 : being off the main route : side a by passage
2 : incidental by effects
\ ˈbī How to pronounce by (audio) \
variants: or bye

Definition of by (Entry 5 of 5)

used to express farewell often used with following now

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Synonyms for by

Synonyms: Preposition

Synonyms: Adverb

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Examples of by in a Sentence

Preposition His wife was sitting by him. They have a house by the lake. The bus went right by him without stopping. Some friends stopped by our house for a chat. Why don't you come by my place later? Adverb The bus went right by without stopping. We stood and applauded as the parade went by. Why don't you come by later?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition No fatalities or injuries were reported in the statement issued by the NWS office. Fox News, "Tornado touches down in Maine, state's first confirmed twister in 3 years," 13 July 2020 In the suburbs, where driving is often faster, aerodynamics is a bigger issue, and unwieldy sensors like lidar reduce range by 5 to 10 percent. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "The Intersection Between Self-Driving Cars and Electric Cars," 13 July 2020 But clouds gave way to more sunshine, heat and humidity by afternoon. Dallas News, "Heat Advisory through Monday," 12 July 2020 The coroner's office also released a statement issued by the Grossman family in regard to the autopsy report released today. Jennie Key, The Enquirer, "Autopsy results complete for woman who died after Columbus protest," 11 July 2020 In Orange County, Fullerton was expected to reach 100 degrees by mid-afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. City News Service, Los Angeles Times, "Los Angeles is in the grips of a heat wave this weekend," 11 July 2020 The storms could reach north Alabama as early as the late morning hours on Sunday and central and south Alabama by Sunday afternoon. Leigh Morgan, al, "A few strong storms possible on Sunday in Alabama — and here comes the heat," 11 July 2020 Kentuckians must wear masks while in public, beginning 5 p.m. Friday, under a new executive order issued by Beshear. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "Mandatory masks could mean 'a shot' at schools reopening, Gov. Andy Beshear says," 10 July 2020 The Trump administration revealed its new guidelines in a memo issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "California set to become first state to file lawsuit against Trump administration's new international student visa policy," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb No Trace is a series of principles that serious hikers and campers swear by. Matt Haines, CNN Underscored, "Why backcountry camping could be the perfect vacation this year," 9 July 2020 Kerri dodged the meat attack, then jumped in the ambulance with her dad and sped away to a local hospital where a doctor was standing by. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Casey Kasem's wife, children accused each other of "killing" radio icon," 4 July 2020 With the ocean on one side and miles of lagoon fronts on the other comes the serenity of nature and the opportunity to view both sunrises and sunsets as ships pass by. Houston Chronicle, "Beachtown offers active lifestyle by the sea with city amenities," 27 June 2020 However, with a frontal zone draped across the broader region and a disturbance passing by, some showers and storms that dotted the landscape this afternoon will continue to do so this evening. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "PM Update: Scattered storms through sunset ahead of a sunny and warm Friday," 25 June 2020 There were about 100 people holding signs and blocking the road at times to grab the attention of cars passing by. USA Today, "Journalists cover protests to tell the truth. These are the stories of 5 who were detained by police.," 18 June 2020 Cars kept passing by. Kofi could have done his part. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Former IU football teammates, coaches are amazed by Kofi Hughes' transformation," 14 June 2020 In the video, Lane and Keung can be seen on top of Floyd, while Thao is standing by. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "George Floyd live updates: Memorial in Minneapolis on Thursday; Barack Obama pushes police reform; Mattis blasts Trump," 5 June 2020 In the video, Lane and Keung can be seen on top of Floyd, while Thao is standing by. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "George Floyd protest: No protest arrests, vigil planned for Thursday," 4 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The old stand-by for generations of San Antonians has come back from a COVID-19 shutdown with one of the tightest pandemic protocols in the city. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "5 San Antonio restaurants for great pancakes when you need a comfort food breakfast," 9 July 2020 During our hour together her phone buzzed constantly with messages from promoters and club owners (a male passer-by also interrupted us to praise her beauty). Ashley Mears, The Economist, "Stories of an extraordinary world The secret economics of a VIP party," 26 June 2020 But her girlfriends surprised her with a 10-car surprise parade drive-by outside her home, their automobiles decorated like floats. Michael Quintanilla, ExpressNews.com, "Fiesta’s on pause, but the spirit lives on in the hearts of its biggest fans," 13 July 2020 So far, officials have created 10 drive-by testing locations across the county that move around each week. Krys'tal Griffin, Washington Post, "Delaware officials find a COVID-19 gold mine — in sewers," 12 July 2020 Like the sun, nuclear reactors create neutrinos as a by-product, and several experiments have been carried out near them to study the particles. William Charles Louis, Scientific American, "Hidden Neutrino Particles May Be a Link to the Dark Sector," 1 July 2020 During our hour together her phone buzzed constantly with messages from promoters and club owners (a male passer-by also interrupted us to praise her beauty). Ashley Mears, The Economist, "Stories of an extraordinary world The secret economics of a VIP party," 26 June 2020 Andretti has reserve crew members on stand-by, Edwards said. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "What happens if an IndyCar driver contracts COVID-19?," 1 July 2020 During our hour together her phone buzzed constantly with messages from promoters and club owners (a male passer-by also interrupted us to praise her beauty). Ashley Mears, The Economist, "Stories of an extraordinary world The secret economics of a VIP party," 26 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Clouds will increase by evening as the next rainy front approaches. oregonlive, "Portland metro Wednesday weather: Mostly cloudy, slight chances for rain late; high 70," 29 Apr. 2020 Partly sunny skies emerge for all by afternoon as temperatures struggle to move past the 30s to low 40s for highs. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: A mild morning before temperatures tumble. Wet snow possible late tonight.," 10 Dec. 2019 Horton was a familiar face in the community by sight, if not by name. Susan Hoffman, Daily Pilot, "Costa Mesa woman known for her fight to authenticate a possible Jackson Pollock painting dies without selling it," 15 July 2019 JoJo’ Robar, if not by name then by description — that guy with the 200-watt smile and his three-wheeled bike who rode all over, collecting cans and friends. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Plainville Says Goodbye To JoJo," 13 June 2018 In the church’s library, retired religion scholar Herb Burhenn unpacks John 16 verse by verse as a dozen seniors seated around a long table listen and nod deferentially. G. Jeffrey Macdonald, The Christian Science Monitor, "Luther’s legacy: How people use the Bible today, 500 years after a monk sparked the Protestant Reformation," 30 Oct. 2017 Other prominent Israeli politicians and bodies preceded Mr. Netanyahu in condemning the violence in Charlottesville and the response of Mr. Trump, if not by name. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "As Trump Offers Neo-Nazis Muted Criticism, Netanyahu Is Largely Silent," 18 Aug. 2017 Shipping the hefty-size goods that consumers buy from Costco in bulk could eat into profit margins that are already low for most household staples—particularly as carriers move to charge by dimension as well as weight. Paul Page, WSJ, "Today’s Top Supply Chain and Logistics News From WSJ," 6 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'by.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of by

Preposition

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

Noun

1567, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Interjection

1709, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for by

Preposition, Adverb, Noun, and Adjective

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

Interjection

short for goodbye

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Time Traveler for by

Time Traveler

The first known use of by was before the 12th century

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Statistics for by

Last Updated

28 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“By.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/by. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for by

How to pronounce by (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of by

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: close to or next to (something or someone)
: up to and beyond (something or someone)
: at or to (someone's home)
How to pronounce by (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of by (Entry 2 of 2)

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
\ How to pronounce by (audio) \

Kids Definition of by

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 sense 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 sense 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 measurementsa room 14 feet wide by 20 feet long or to join the numbers in a statement of multiplication or divisionDivide 8 by 4.

Kids Definition of by (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on by

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for by

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with by

Spanish Central: Translation of by

Nglish: Translation of by for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of by for Arabic Speakers

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