\ ˈbī How to pronounce bye (audio) \
plural byes\ ˈbīz How to pronounce byes (audio) \

Definition of bye

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the position of a participant in a tournament who advances to the next round without playing drew a first-round bye

Definition of bye (Entry 2 of 2)

used as a shortened form of goodbye to express farewellWhen he finally spoke, though, and said, "Bye, I'll call you," instead of disappointment she had felt an enormous rush of relief—a feeling, she thinks now, of things falling back into place.— Ann PackerThe stag lowered his head and raised it again. He blew out a frosty puff of air, then leaped away, vanishing into the mist. "Bye," Annie said wistfully.— Mary Pope Osborne"Bye, Mom! Bye, Auggie!" I kissed them both quickly and headed toward the door.— R. J. Palacio

Examples of bye in a Sentence

Noun She got a bye into the second round of the tennis tournament.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Wolves close district play with Houston MST and Bellaire, while Heights plays Chavez next week before a bye. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Lamar, Bellaire, Westside victorious in 18-6A," 29 Oct. 2017 The 6-1 Buckeyes had a bye this past weekend, while the Nittany Lions routed Michigan, 42-13, to improve to 7-0. Dave Clark,, "Ohio State Buckeyes favored by a touchdown against Penn State at some sportsbooks," 23 Oct. 2017 The Falcons, who have a bye, put defensive end Jack Crawford on injured reserve with a biceps injury. Matt Wilhalme,, "NFC notes: From A to Z," 8 Oct. 2017 The Panthers opened up a half-game lead in the NFC South over the Falcons, who had a bye Sunday. Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "It was only one (busted) play, but it could symbolize what Panthers’ season could be," 8 Oct. 2017 The Ravens could have had a bye after traveling to London but decided to stay with the normal rotation. Mike Preston,, "Mike Preston: Ravens can't afford another embarrassing loss like this," 24 Sep. 2017 Heritage has a bye before starting district play with Stranahan. David Furones,, "American Heritage pounds Chaminade in nationally televised contest between Broward powers," 22 Sep. 2017 Next week's bye gives them an extra week of preparation. Ken Goe,, "Will the Oregon Ducks' bowl hopes ride on the outcome of the Civil War? Issues & Answers," 5 Nov. 2017 The Bears, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have byes on Sunday. Mark Inabinett,, "NFL Week 9: New Orleans' 'heart and soul' Mark Ingram on the spot as Saints seek sixth straight win," 2 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bye.' 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 bye


1883, in the meaning defined above


1618, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bye


alteration of by entry 2

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Cite this Entry

“Bye.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce bye (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bye

sports : a situation in which a player or team is allowed to go forward to the next level in a competition without having to play against and defeat an opponent

More from Merriam-Webster on bye

Britannica English: Translation of bye for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bye

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