by-prod·​uct ˈbī-ˌprä-(ˌ)dəkt How to pronounce by-product (audio)
variants or byproduct
plural by-products or byproducts
: something produced in a usually industrial or biological process in addition to the principal product
Sulfured molasses is a by-product of sugar refining.Wayne Gisslen
Small amounts of amyloid beta are generated as an ordinary metabolic byproduct and are believed to do no harm, but larger amounts seem to be tied to Alzheimer's.January W. Payne
Meat by-products are parts other than meat, including organs, blood and bone …Amy D. Shojai
Among the most commonly occurring and thoroughly studied chlorination byproducts are trihalomethanes …Consumer Reports
: a secondary and sometimes unexpected or unintended result
Japan's success as an international exporter of manufactured goods is a by-product of the volatile trade among Japanese cities.Jane Jacobs
As investor confidence grows, overspending and overborrowing are typically byproducts of an aging bull market.Carolyn Bigda
One of the by-products of the information age is an increasing number of data formats.John Was

Examples of by-product in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those who understand that success is no longer a passive by-product but an active pursuit are the ones who will thrive. Meridith Alexander, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 But that’s more a by-product of the success of the drug in helping people lose weight, not the drug itself. Sara Reardon, Scientific American, 17 Nov. 2023 Small amounts are also retrieved as a by-product of mining other metals. IEEE Spectrum, 30 Oct. 2023 Those were manifestations of ADHD and not just the by-products of my complicated sense of identity. Hazlitt, 18 Oct. 2023 Preeclampsia appears to be exclusive (or almost exclusive) to humans, and may have arisen as a by-product of the particularly aggressive ways in which our fetuses pillage their mother’s body for resources. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 16 Oct. 2023 It is derived from industrial hemp and does not contain any animal products or by-products. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 The country’s dominance is no accident: Gallium is easily obtained as a by-product of refining bauxite into aluminum, and in the late 2000s and early 2010s, the Chinese government mandated that aluminum refineries also extract gallium. IEEE Spectrum, 10 Oct. 2023 However, homemade buttermilk is the original, old-school by-product left from making butter, which is considerably different from store-bought, and might not be as successful in baked goods. Sheri Castle, Southern Living, 22 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'by-product.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of by-product was in 1849

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Cite this Entry

“By-product.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a product or result produced in addition to the main product or result

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