Idioms for by

Origin of by

before 900; Middle English; Old English bī; cognate with Dutch bij, Old High German (German bei), Gothic bi. See be-

synonym study for by

11. By, through, with indicate agency or means of getting something done or accomplished. By is regularly used to denote the agent (person or force) in passive constructions: It is done by many; destroyed by fire. It also indicates means: Send it by airmail. With denotes the instrument (usually consciously) employed by an agent: He cut it with the scissors. Through designates particularly immediate agency or instrumentality or reason or motive: through outside aid; to yield through fear; wounded through carelessness.

Definition for by (2 of 4)

by 2

or bye

[ bahy ]
/ baɪ /


goodbye: By now, come again sometime!

Origin of by

by shortening

Definition for by (3 of 4)

bye 2

or by

[ bahy ]
/ baɪ /


Definition for by (4 of 4)


a combining form of by1: by-product; bystander; byway.
Also bye-.

British Dictionary definitions for by (1 of 5)

by 1
/ (baɪ) /



noun plural byes

a variant spelling of bye 1

Word Origin for by

Old English bī; related to Gothic bi, Old High German , Sanskrit abhi to, towards

British Dictionary definitions for by (2 of 5)

by 2

the internet domain name for


British Dictionary definitions for by (3 of 5)




near bystander
secondary or incidental by-effect; by-election; by-path; by-product

Word Origin for by-

from by

British Dictionary definitions for by (4 of 5)

bye 1
/ (baɪ) /


sport the situation in which a player or team in an eliminatory contest wins a preliminary round by virtue of having no opponent
golf one or more holes of a stipulated course that are left unplayed after the match has been decided
cricket a run scored off a ball not struck by the batsman: allotted to the team as an extra and not to the individual batsman See also leg bye
something incidental or secondary
by the bye incidentally; by the way: used as a sentence connector

Word Origin for bye

C16: a variant of by

British Dictionary definitions for by (5 of 5)

bye 2


sentence substitute

British informal goodbye