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by

Syllabification: by

Definition of by in English:

preposition

1Identifying the agent performing an action.
1.1After a passive verb: the door was opened by my cousin Annie damage caused by fire
Synonyms
through, as a result of, because of, by dint of, by way of, via, by means of;
with the help of, with the aid of, by virtue of
1.2After a noun denoting an action: further attacks by the mob a clear decision by the electorate
1.3Identifying the author of a text, idea, or work of art: a book by Ernest Hemingway
2 [often with verbal noun] Indicating the means of achieving something: malaria can be controlled by attacking the parasite they plan to provide further working capital by means of borrowing
2.1Indicating a term to which an interpretation is to be assigned: what is meant by “fair?”
2.2Indicating a name according to which a person is known: she mostly calls me by my last name
2.3Indicating the means of transport selected for a journey: traveling by train to Boston
2.4Indicating the other parent of someone’s child or children: Richard is his son by his third wife
2.5Indicating the sire of a pedigree animal, especially a horse: a black filly by Goldfuerst
2.6(Followed by a noun without an adjective) in various phrases indicating how something happens: I heard by chance that she has married again Anderson, by contrast, rejects this view she ate by candlelight
3Indicating the amount or size of a margin: the shot missed her by miles the raising of taxes by 2.5%
3.1Indicating a unit of measurement: billing is by the minute
3.2In phrases indicating something happening repeatedly or progressively, typically with repetition of a unit of time: colors changing minute by minute the risk becomes worse by the day
3.4Expressing multiplication, often in dimensions: a map measuring 24 by 36 inches she multiplied it by 89
4Indicating a deadline or the end of a particular time period: I’ve got to do this report by Monday by now Kelly needed extensive physiotherapy
Synonyms
no later than, in good time for, at, before
5Indicating location of a physical object beside a place or object: remains were discovered by the roadside the lamp was by the door
Synonyms
next to, beside, alongside, by/at the side of, adjacent to, side by side with;
near, close to, neighboring, adjoining, bordering, overlooking;
connected to, contiguous with, attached to
5.1Past; beyond: I drove by our house
Synonyms
past, in front of, beyond
6Indicating the period in which something happens: this animal always hunts by night
7Concerning; according to: anything you do is all right by me she had done her duty by him
8Used in mild oaths: it was the least he could do, by God
[partly translating French par 'through the medium or agency of']

adverb

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So as to go past: a car flashed by on the other side of the road he let only a moment go by

noun (plural byes)

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variant spelling of bye1.

Origin

Old English , bi, be, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bij and German bei.

Phrases

by and by

1
Before long; eventually.
Synonyms
eventually, ultimately, finally, in the end, one day, some day, sooner or later, in time, in a while, in the long run, in the fullness of time, in time to come, at length, in the future, in due course, over the long haul

by the by (or bye)

2
Incidentally; parenthetically: where’s Hector, by the by?

by and large

3
On the whole; everything considered: mammals have, by and large, bigger brains than reptiles
[originally in nautical use, describing the handling of a ship both with the wind and against it]

by oneself

4
1Alone: living in that big house by himself
2Unaided: the patient often learns to undress by himself

by way of

5
see way.

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