prep., adv., & n.
1 near, beside, in the region of (stand by the door; sit by me; path by the river).
2 through the agency, means, instrumentality, or causation of (by proxy; bought by a millionaire; a poem by Donne; went by bus; succeeded by persisting; divide four by two).
3 not later than; as soon as (by next week; by now; by the time he arrives).
4 a past, beyond (drove by the church; came by us). b passing through; via (went by Paris).
5 in the circumstances of (by day; by daylight).
6 to the extent of (missed by a foot; better by far).
7 according to; using as a standard or unit (judge by appearances; paid by the hour).
8 with the succession of (worse by the minute; day by day; one by one).
9 concerning; in respect of (did our duty by them; Smith by name; all right by me).
10 used in mild oaths (orig. = as surely as one believes in) (by God; by gum; swear by all that is sacred).
11 placed between specified lengths in two directions (three feet by two).
12 avoiding, ignoring (pass by him; passed us by).
13 inclining to (north by north-west).
1 near (sat by, watching; lives close by).
2 aside; in reserve (put pound5 by).
3 past (they marched by).
—n. = BYE.
Phrases and idioms:
by and by before long; eventually. by and large on the whole, everything considered. by the by (or bye) incidentally, parenthetically. by oneself
1 a unaided. b without prompting.
2 alone; without company.
Etymology: OE bi, bi, be f. Gmc

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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