Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


By

By

(bī)
,
p
rep.
[OE.
bi
, AS.
bī
,
big
, near to, by, of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries.
bi
,
be
, D.
bij
, OHG.
bī
, G.
bei
, Goth.
bi
, and perh. Gr.
ἀμφί
. E. prefix
be-
is orig. the same word. √203. See
p
ref.
Be-
.]
1.
In the neighborhood of; near or next to; not far from; close to; along with;
as, come and sit
by
me
.
By
foundation or
by
shady rivulet
He sought them both.
Milton.
2.
On; along; in traversing. Compare 5.
Long labors both
by
sea and land he bore.
Dryden.
By
land,
by
water, they renew the charge.
Pope.
3.
Near to, while passing; hence, from one to the other side of; past;
as, to go
by
a church
.
4.
Used in specifying adjacent dimensions;
as, a cabin twenty feet
by
forty
.
5.
Against.
[Obs.]
Tyndale [1. Cor. iv. 4].
6.
With, as means, way, process, etc.; through means of; with aid of; through; through the act or agency of;
as, a city is destroyed
by
fire
; profit is made by commerce; to take by force.
To the meaning of by, as denoting means or agency, belong, more or less closely, most of the following uses of the word:
(a)
It points out the author and producer; as, “Waverley”, a novel by Sir W.Scott; a statue by Canova; a sonata by Beethoven.
(b)
In an oath or adjuration, it indicates the being or thing appealed to as sanction; as, I affirm to you by all that is sacred; he swears by his faith as a Christian; no, by Heaven.
(c)
According to; by direction, authority, or example of; after; – in such phrases as, it appears by his account; ten o’clock by my watch; to live by rule; a model to build by.
(d)
At the rate of; according to the ratio or proportion of; in the measure or quantity of; as, to sell cloth by the yard, milk by the quart, eggs by the dozen, meat by the pound; to board by the year.
(e)
In comparison, it denotes the measure of excess or deficiency; when anything is increased or diminished, it indicates the measure of increase or diminution; as, larger by a half; older by five years; to lessen by a third.
(f)
It expresses continuance or duration; during the course of; within the period of; as, by day, by night.
(g)
As soon as; not later than; near or at; – used in expressions of time; as, by this time the sun had risen; he will be here by two o'clock.
In boxing the compass, by indicates a pint nearer to, or towards, the next cardinal point; as, north by east, i.e., a point towards the east from the north; northeast by east, i.e., on point nearer the east than northeast is.
With is used instead of by before the instrument with which anything is done; as, to beat one with a stick; the board was fastened by the carpenter with nails. But there are many words which may be regarded as means or processes, or, figuratively, as instruments; and whether with or by shall be used with them is a matter of arbitrary, and often, of unsettled usage; as, to a reduce a town by famine; to consume stubble with fire; he gained his purpose by flattery; he entertained them with a story; he distressed us with or by a recital of his sufferings. see
With
.
By all means
,
most assuredly; without fail; certainly.
By and by
.
(a)
Close together (of place).
[Obs.]
“Two yonge knightes liggyng [lying] by and by.”
Chaucer.
(b)
Immediately; at once.
[Obs.]
“When . . . persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”
Matt. xiii. 21.
(c)
Presently; pretty soon; before long.
In this phrase, by seems to be used in the sense of nearness in time, and to be repeated for the sake of emphasis, and thus to be equivalent to “soon, and soon,” that is instantly; hence, – less emphatically, – pretty soon, presently.
By one's self
,
with only one's self near; alone; solitary.
-
By the bye
.
See under
Bye
.
By the head
(Naut.)
,
having the bows lower than the stern; – said of a vessel when her head is lower in the water than her stern. If her stern is lower, she is by the stern.
By the lee
,
the situation of a vessel, going free, when she has fallen off so much as to bring the wind round her stern, and to take her sails aback on the other side.
By the run
,
to let go by the run, to let go altogether, instead of slacking off.
By the way
,
by the bye; – used to introduce an incidental or secondary remark or subject.
-
Day by day
,
One by one
,
Piece by piece
, etc.
,
each day, each one, each piece, etc., by itself singly or separately; each severally.
To come by
,
to get possession of; to obtain.
To do by
,
to treat, to behave toward.
To set by
,
to value, to esteem.
To stand by
,
to aid, to support.
☞ The common phrase good-by is equivalent to farewell, and would be better written good-bye, as it is a corruption of God be with you (b'w'ye).

By

(bī)
,
adv.
1.
Near; in the neighborhood; present;
as, there was no person
by
at the time
.
2.
Passing near; going past; past; beyond;
as, the procession has gone
by
; a bird flew
by
.
3.
Aside;
as, to lay
by
; to put
by
.

By

(bī)
,
Adj.
Out of the common path; aside; – used in composition, giving the meaning of something aside, secondary, or incidental, or collateral matter, a thing private or avoiding notice;
as,
by
-line,
by
-place,
by
-play,
by
-street
. It was formerly more freely used in composition than it is now;
as,
by
-business,
by
-concernment,
by
-design,
by
-interest, etc.

Webster 1828 Edition


By

BY

, prep.
1.
Near; close; as, sit by me; that house stands by a river.
[L. pressus.]
2.
Near, in motion; as, to move, go or pass by a church. But it seems, in other phrases,or with a verb in the past time, to signify past, gone beyond. 'The procession is gone by;' 'the hour is gone by;' 'John went by.' We now use past as an equivalent word. The procession is gone past. Gone by is in strictness tautology, as now used; but I apprehend by signifies primarily near.
3.
Through, or with, denoting the agent, means, instrument or cause; as, 'a city is destroyed by fire;' 'profit is made by commerce;' 'to take by force.' This use answers to that of the Latin per, through, denoting a passing, acting, agency, or instrumentality.
4.
'Day by day;' 'year by year;' 'article by article.' In these phrases, by denotes passing from one to another, or each particular separately taken.
5.
'By the space of seven years.' In this phrase, by denotes through, passing or continuing, during.
6.
'By this time, the sun had risen.' The word here seems to denote, at, present or come to.
7.
According to; as, 'this appears by his own account;' 'these are good rules to live by.'
8.
On; as, 'to pass by land or water;' 'great battles by sea and land.' In the latter phrase, at or on might be substituted for by.
9.
It is placed before words denoting quantity, measure or proportion; as, to sell by the pound; to work by the rod or perch; this line is longer by a tenth.
10. It is used to represent the means or instrument of swearing, or affirming; as, to swear by heaven, or by earth; to affirm by all that is sacred.
11. In the phrase, 'he has a cask of wine by him,' by denotes nearness or presence.
12. 'To sit by one's self,' is to sit alone, or without company.
13. 'To be present by attorney.' In this phrase, by denotes means or instrument; through or in the presence of a substitute.
14. In the phrase, 'North by West,' the sense seems to be north passing to the west, inclining or going westward, or near west.
As an adverb, by denotes also nearness, or presence; as, there was no person by, at the time. But some noun is understood. So in the phrase, 'to pass or go by,' there is a noun understood.
By and by is a phrase denoting nearness in time; in a short time after; presently; soon.
When persecution ariseth, because of the word, by and by, he is offended. Math.13.
By the by signifies, as we proceed or pass.
To stand by, is to stand near, or to support.
By in lullaby, and in the nursery, a word used in lulling infants to sleep, is evidently allied to words found in many languages, signifying to rest, or be quiet, or to appease; that is, to press, to stop. [L.paco.]
By or bye, in by-law.
In the common phrase, good-bye, bye signifies passing, going. The phrase signifies, a good going, a prosperous passage, and it is precisely equivalent to farewell.
By is used in many compound words, in most of which we observe the sense of nearness, closeness, or a withdrawing or seclusion.

Definition 2021


by

by

See also: BY, , by-, by., -by, .by, and b'y

English

Alternative forms

  • bye (archaic for preposition and adverb, not used for abbreviation, preferred for noun and interjection)

Preposition

by

  1. Near or next to.
    The mailbox is by the bus stop.
  2. At some time before (the given time), or before the end of a given time interval.
    Be back by ten o'clock! We will send it by the first week of July.
  3. Indicates the actor in a clause with its verb in the passive voice: Through the action or presence of.
    The matter was decided by the chairman. The boat was swamped by the water. He was protected by his body armour.
    • 2011 September 28, Jon Smith, Valencia 1-1 Chelsea”, in BBC Sport:
      Valencia threatened sporadically in the first half with Miguel having a decent effort deflected wide by Ashley Cole, while Jordi Alba's near-post cross was flicked into the sidenetting by Pablo Hernandez.
  4. Indicates the creator of a work: Existing through the authorship etc. of.
    There are many well-known plays by William Shakespeare
  5. Indicates the cause of a condition or event: Through the action of, caused by, responsibility for; by dint of.
    • 1874, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, 2005 Barnes & Noble Classics publication of 1912 Wessex edition, p.109:
      In other directions the fields and sky were so much of one colour by the snow that it was difficult in a hasty glance to tell whereabouts the horizon occurred [].
  6. Indicates a means: Involving/using the means of.
    I avoided the guards by moving only when they weren't looking.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall, The Squire's Daughter, chapterII:
      "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. []"
  7. Indicates a source of light: Medium emanating from hot sources.
    • 1945, Neva L. Boyd, Handbook of Recreational Games, 1975 Dover edition, ISBN 0486232042, p.16:
      Players: Can we get there by candlelight? ¶ Gatekeepers: Yes and back again.
    • 1960, Dr. Seuss, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
      By the light of the moon, / by the light of a star / they walked all night
  8. Indicates an authority, rule, or permission followed.
    I sorted the items by category. By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife.
  9. Indicates the amount of some progression: With a change of.
    Our stock is up by ten percent.
  10. In the formulae X by X and by Xs, indicates a steady progression, one X after another.
    We went through the book page by page. We crawled forward by inches.
  11. Indicates a referenced source: According to.
    He cheated by his own admission.
  12. Indicates an oath: With the authority of.
    By Jove! I think she's got it! By all that is holy, I'll put an end to this.
  13. Used to separate dimensions when describing the size of something.
    It is easy to invert a 2-by-2 matrix. The room was about 4 foot by 6 foot. The bricks used to build the wall measured 10 by 20 by 30 cm.

Derived terms

Translations

Adverb

by (not comparable)

  1. Along a path which runs by the speaker.
    I watched as it passed by.
  2. In the vicinity, near.
    There was a shepherd close by.
    The shop is hard by the High Street.
    • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
      [The helmsman] steered with no end of a swagger while you were by; but if he lost sight of you, he became instantly the prey of an abject funk []
  3. To or at a place, as a residence or place of business.
    I'll stop by on my way home from work.
    We're right near the lifeguard station. Come by before you leave.
  4. Aside, away.
    The women spent much time after harvest putting jams by for winter and spring.

Derived terms

Translations

Adjective

by (not comparable)

  1. Out of the way, subsidiary.

(Can we add an example for this sense?)

Antonyms

Derived terms

Noun

by (plural bys)

  1. (card games) A pass

Interjection

by

  1. Alternative spelling of bye

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: not · be · at · #21: by · on · her · which

Afrikaans

Etymology

From Dutch bij.

Preposition

by

  1. at
  2. to
  3. by

Noun

by (plural bye)

  1. bee

Czech

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /bɪ/

Particle

by

  1. would
    Vstával by dřív, ale to by si napřed musel koupit budík.
    He would be getting up earlier, but then he would have to buy an alarm clock first.

Usage notes

Related terms


Danish

Etymology

From Old Norse býr (settlement). Related to the element -by in English place names, such as Whitby.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /byː/, [b̥yːˀ]

Noun

by c (singular definite byen, plural indefinite byer)

  1. town, city

Related terms

Inflection


Lojban

Alternative forms

Cmavo

by (selma'o BY2 BY2)

  1. Name of the letter b.

Usage notes

  • All letter names can be used as pronouns, usually referring to something denoted by a word beginning with that letter.
    la alis cu lebna le bifpra e lei gluta gi'e co'a pilno by
    Alice took up the fan and gloves and was using it (i.e., the fan, bifpra)
  • When used to spell a word, precede the string of letters with me'o.
  • If a letter is followed by another letter or a number (including an imprecise or non-integral one such as za'u or pai), and they do not make a single string of letters, separate them with boi.

See also


Lower Sorbian

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [bɨ]

Verb

by (defective, invariable)

  1. would (used with the past active participle to form a conditional)
    Njecynimy to, dokulaž by jim škóźeło.
    We don’t do that because it would hurt them.

Derived terms

  • aby (that...would)
  • gaby (if...would)
  • gdyby (if...would)
  • njeby (would not)

Usage notes

This verb may be omitted before the past active participles of móc (be able to), kśěś (want to), and dejaś (ought to).


Middle English

Verb

by

  1. be

Norwegian Bokmål

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /byː/, [byː]

Etymology 1

From Old Norse býr (place (to camp or settle), land, property, lot; and later settlement).

Noun

by m (definite singular byen, indefinite plural byer, definite plural byene)

  1. a town or city
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From byde, from Old Norse bjóða, from Proto-Germanic *beudaną (to offer), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰewdʰ- (to wake, rise up).

Verb

by (imperative by, present tense byr, simple past bød or bøy or bydde, past participle budt or bydd)

  1. to bid; offer
  2. to ask; invite
  3. to command; order

References


Norwegian Nynorsk

Etymology

From Old Norse býr (place (to camp or settle), land, property, lot; and later settlement).

Noun

by m (definite singular byen, indefinite plural byar, definite plural byane)

  1. a town or city

Derived terms

References


Polish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [bɨ]

Particle

by

  1. (always before a verb) a particle used to make conditional mood; would, should
    On by tam nie poszedł. = On nie poszedłby tam. — He would not go there.
singular plural
1st person bym byśmy
2nd person byś byście
3rd person by by

Synonyms

Conjunction

by

  1. in order to, so that

Synonyms


Swedish

Etymology

From Old Norse býr (place (to camp or settle), land, property, lot; and later settlement).

Pronunciation

Noun

by c

  1. village
  2. (obsolete) farm
  3. gust, rush of wind

Declension

Related terms

(village):
  • byalag
  • byallmänning
  • byamål
  • bybo
  • bydåre
  • byfåne
  • bygata
  • byhåla
  • byoriginal
  • bypolitik
  • bypolitiker
  • byracka
  • bysamfällighet
  • byskola
  • byskvaller
  • byslagsmål
  • bysnille
  • bystämma
  • bytänkande
  • byväg
  • Ekeby
  • hemby
  • kyrkby
  • Täby
  • Viby
(breeze):
  • byig
  • bymoln
  • kastby
  • regnby
  • stormby

References


West Frisian

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /bɛɪ/

Preposition

by

  1. near to
  2. in relation to
    By âlds
    In the olden days