by1 W1S1 [baı] prep
1¦(who/what does something)¦
4¦(taking hold)¦
5¦(writer/composer etc)¦
9¦(according to)¦
13¦(gradual change)¦
14¦(quick change)¦
16 by day/night
17¦(job/nature etc)¦
19 (all) by yourself
23 by the by
[: Old English; Origin: be, bi]
used especially with a ↑passive verb to say who or what does something or makes something happen
I was attacked by a dog.
a church designed by the famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren
We are all alarmed by the rise in violent crime.
interference by the state in the affairs of the Church
his appointment by the BBC as a producer
used to say what means or method someone uses to do something
You can reserve the tickets by phone.
Send it by airmail.
Some customers prefer to pay by cheque.
by car/train/bus/taxi etc
They travelled to Chicago by train.
by air/sea/land/road/rail etc
All supplies are transported by air.
by doing sth
She earns her living by selling insurance.
He was taken from his home by force.
3.) ¦(ROAD/DOOR)¦
used to say which road, entrance, door etc someone uses to get to a place
They came in by the back door.
It's quicker to go by the country route.
used to say which part of an object or of a person's body someone takes hold of
He took Elaine by the arm and led her across the road.
She grabbed the hammer by the handle.
used to give the name of someone who wrote a book, produced a film, wrote a piece of music etc
the 'New World Symphony' by Dvorak
a short story by Charles Dickens
Who's it by?
6.) ¦(BESIDE)¦
beside or near something
She stood by the window.
Jane went and sat by Patrick.
7.) ¦(PAST)¦
past someone or something without stopping
He walked right by me without even saying hello.
I pass by the farm every day on my way to work.
8.) ¦(BEFORE)¦
before or not later than a particular time
The documents need to be ready by next Friday.
I reckon the film should be over by 9.30.
By the end of the day we had sold over 2000 tickets.
By the time we got home we were tired and hungry.
according to a particular rule, method, or way of doing things
You've got to play by the rules.
Profits were £6 million, but by our standards this is low.
used to say how great a change or difference is
The price of oil fell by a further $2 a barrel.
I was overcharged by £3.
Godard's first film was better by far (=by a large amount or degree) .
used to give the measurements of a room, container etc
a room 15 metres by 23 metres
12.) ¦(QUANTITY)¦
used to show what unit of measurement or quantity is involved in selling, paying for, producing etc something
Eggs are sold by the dozen.
We're paid by the hour.
She wanted to tear his hair out by the handful.
used to say that something happens gradually
Day by day he grew weaker.
Little by little I was beginning to discover the truth about Garfield.
One by one, the men stepped forward.
used to say that something or someone is quickly becoming worse, better etc
The financial crisis was growing more serious by the hour.
15.) ¦(LIGHT)¦
used to say that something happens in a particular kind of light
We walked through the palace gardens by moonlight.
16.) by day/night
during the day or the night
a tour of Paris by night
used when you are giving information about someone's character, job, origin etc
George I and George II were Germans by birth.
Cautious by nature, Simpkin was reluctant to interfere.
Robert Key was a teacher by profession.
18.) ¦(VISITING)¦
in order to visit a person or place for a short time
On the way, I stopped by the post office.
19.) (all) by yourself
a) completely alone
Dave spent Christmas all by himself.
b) without help from anyone
You can't move the furniture all by yourself.
used between two numbers when talking about multiplying or dividing
What's 48 divided by 4?
21.) ¦(EMPHASIS)¦
used when expressing strong feelings or making serious promises
By God, I'll kill that boy when I see him!
22.) ¦(FATHER)¦
if a woman has children by a particular man, that man is the children's father
She's got two children by her previous husband.
23.) by the by
spoken used when mentioning something that may be interesting but is not particularly important
By the by, Ian said he might call round tonight.
by the way atway
WORD CHOICE: by, with, in
by is used especially in passives, to say who or what does or causes something : She was hit by a truck. |a book written by Peter Carey
Use with or in after verbs which describe a state rather than an action : The room was lit with candles. | Her house is always filled with music. | The books were covered in dust.
Use with to say what tool you use to do something : I got the stain out with this brush (NOT by this brush).
by 2
by2 W1S1 adv
1.) past someone or something
As I was standing on the platform, the Liverpool train went whizzing by.
James walked by without even looking in my direction.
2.) used to say that time passes
As the summer days slipped by, it was easy to forget about the war.
Ten years had gone by since I had last seen Marilyn.
3.) beside or near someone or something
A crowd of people were standing by, waiting for an announcement.
4.) in order to visit a person or place for a short time
Why don't you stop by for a drink after work?
5.) by and large
used when making a general statement
By and large, the new arrangements have worked well.
6.) by and by
old use soon
She will be better by and by.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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