\ ˈbī-ˌblō How to pronounce by-blow (audio) \
plural by-blows

Definition of by-blow

1 : an indirect blow While photographers snapped away, the two men chatted amiably about … the by-blows from Hurricane Esther, even then whipping through New York.Time
2 dated : a child born to parents who are not married to each other … Aubrey noted that Shakespeare … had bedded down at the Crown Tavern in Oxford; that the innkeeper's wife was a very beautiful and witty woman; and that her poet son boasted of being Shakespeare's by-blow.— S. Schoenbaum … and now, after over twenty years of bachelorhood, Travis has suddenly discovered he has a daughter of seventeen, a by-blow from an earlier case.— Charles Nicol
3 : a secondary or unintended consequence As one of the by-blows of having my microwave books published in London, I have been going there more …— Barbara Kafka … the lunar programme was a child of its time, a by-blow of the Cold War arms race …Daily Telegraph (London)

Synonyms for by-blow


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First Known Use of by-blow

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for by-blow

Time Traveler

The first known use of by-blow was in 1590

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Dictionary Entries Near by-blow

by blood


by car

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Statistics for by-blow

Cite this Entry

“By-blow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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