Meaning of BY in English

BY

I. preposition

COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES

a bill is passed by parliament (= it is made into a law )

The bill was passed by Parliament last May.

a month passes/goes by

Seven months went by before he returned.

a relation by marriage

She’s a relation by marriage because she married my cousin.

a relative by marriage

How many women would be willing to care for distant relatives by marriage?

an offence punishable by/with sth

Possession of the drug is an offence punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment.

as the days/weeks/years go by

As the weeks went by, I became more and more worried.

as time goes by

Things will get easier as time goes by .

be bound by a vow (= to have promised seriously to do something )

She told him she was bound by a vow not to tell any other person.

be bound by an agreement (= have to obey the conditions of an official agreement )

India is bound by the agreements signed under the World Trade Organisation.

be bound by an oath (= have sworn an oath )

These chiefs were bound to him by oaths of loyalty.

be bound by rules (= have to obey them )

Solicitors are bound by strict rules that regulate their professional conduct.

be consumed with/racked with/overwhelmed by guilt (= feel very guilty )

Later he was horrified that he had hit her, and was racked by guilt.

be covered by a scheme (= be able to benefit from a scheme )

All employees are covered by the new bonus scheme.

be covered by insurance (= be included in an insurance policy )

Flood damage isn't covered by the insurance.

be cut off by the tide (= become trapped as the sea rises )

Two anglers had to be rescued after getting cut off by the tide.

be destroyed by fire/a bomb/earthquake etc

The building was destroyed by fire in 2004.

be dogged by controversy (= cause controversy in a way that is a problem )

Even before it was introduced, the system was dogged by controversy.

be dogged by misfortune (= have a lot of bad luck over a period of time )

The project seemed dogged by misfortune.

be far from clear/be by no means clear (= be very unclear )

The directions she gave me were far from clear.

be funded by a grant

The expansion of the computer department was funded by a government grant.

be funded by donations (= receive the money that is needed from donations )

We are a charity entirely funded by voluntary donations.

be gripped by fear (= be very afraid )

We were gripped by fear as the boat was tossed around by the waves.

be haunted by the memory of sth (= be unable to forget something unhappy )

He is haunted by memories of his unhappy childhood.

be hit by a recession (= be badly affected by it )

Rural areas have been hardest hit by the recession.

be paid by the hour/day/week

I was working on a building site, being paid by the hour.

be powered by electricity

In an emergency, the hospital can be powered by electricity from a generator.

be surrounded by controversy

The circumstances of her death were surrounded by controversy.

bleached by the sun

The wood had been bleached by the sun .

born/delivered etc by caesarean

Both her children were born by caesarean section.

bound (by sth) to do sth

The Foundation is bound by the treaty to help any nation that requests aid.

by a long way/shot informal ( also by a long chalk British English ) (= used when something is much better, quicker, cheaper etc )

It was his best performance this year, by a long way.

by a strange quirk of fate

Years later, by a strange quirk of fate , she found herself sitting next to him on a plane.

by a vote of...to

The motion was passed by a vote of 215 to 84.

by British/African etc standards

Class sizes are small by British standards.

by common consent (= with everyone’s agreement )

Joe was chosen as captain by common consent .

by far the best

One girl stood out as by far the best singer.

by far the worst (= much worse than any other )

Last year was by far the worst for road accidents.

by inches

The bus missed us by inches .

by its very nature

Capitalist society is by its very nature unstable.

by kind permission of sb formal (= used for thanking someone for allowing something )

This photograph is reproduced by kind permission of Country Living.

by modern standards/today’s standards

The technology was crude by modern standards.

by our standards (= judging by what we are used to )

The equipment was very old-fashioned by our standards.

by prior arrangement

Visitors can tour the burial tombs by prior arrangement.

by the looks of it (= that is how it seems )

The neighbours are back from holiday by the looks of it .

by the simple expedient of

Moore escaped by the simple expedient of lying down in a clump of grass.

By the time...rolled around

By the time Wednesday rolled around , I still hadn’t finished.

(by/from) force of habit (= used about a habit that is difficult to change )

I still walk by his house each day - force of habit, I suppose.

by...own admission

Reese, by his own admission , lacks the necessary experience.

by/through peaceful means

We must redistribute power in this country by peaceful means.

by...votes to

The proposal was rejected by 19 votes to 7.

call sb by their first/full etc name (= use that name when you speak to them )

Everyone called him by his first name.

changed...name by deed poll

Steve changed his name by deed poll to Elvis Presley-Smith.

chosen by lot

In Athens at that time, judges were chosen by lot .

close by

Her father lives quite close by .

come by car/train/bus etc

Will you be coming by train?

comply with/abide by/observe a rule formal (= obey it )

All members must comply with the rules of the organization.

There is little that one country can do if another fails to abide by the rules.

We expect you to observe the general rules of conduct as set out below.

count by twos/fives etc

It’s quicker to count by tens saying 10, 20, 30 ... .

decrease/fall by half (= become 50% less )

Share prices fell by half.

defeat sb by sth

We were defeated by 3 goals to 2.

divide one number by another

You can’t divide a prime number by any other number, except 1.

go by bus/train/car etc

It’ll be quicker to go by train.

go by the name of ... (= be called something by people, often when that is not your real name )

As he had long red hair, he went by the name of Red.

go by/travel by train

We decided to go by train.

go by/travel by train

We decided to go by train.

go down by 10%/250/$900 etc

Spending has gone down by 2%.

go somewhere by bike

I usually go to work by bike.

go up by 10%/250/£900 etc

Unemployment in the country has gone up by a million.

go/come/arrive by taxi

I went back home by taxi.

go/travel by bus

I usually go to work by bus.

go/travel by car

I try to use public transport instead of going by car.

go/travel by coach

We spent three days travelling by coach across France.

greet sb by name (= use someone’s name when you see them )

The waiter greeted him by name.

had gone by the book (= had obeyed all the rules )

There was no doubt that the referee had gone by the book .

hard by

in a house hard by the city gate

hard to come by

Jobs were hard to come by .

hard to come by (= difficult to find or get )

Permanent jobs are hard to come by .

hardly a day/week/month etc goes by without/when (= used to say that something happens almost every day, week etc )

Hardly a month goes by without another factory closing down.

hardly a day/week/month etc goes by

Hardly a week goes by without some food scare being reported in the media.

If by any chance

If by any chance you can’t manage dinner tonight, perhaps we can at least have a drink together.

If...are anything to go by

If his past plays are anything to go by , this should be a play worth watching.

in days/times/years etc gone by (= in the past )

These herbs would have been grown for medicinal purposes in days gone by.

in years gone by (= in the past )

The old fort defended the island in years gone by.

increase/rise by half (= become 50% more )

The number of passengers using the service has increased by half.

judge by appearances (= make judgements based on the way sb/sth looks )

You shouldn’t judge by appearances.

judging by sb’s reactions

Judging by the audience’s reactions, the show will be a great success.

know sb by name (= know their name )

The headteacher knew all the children by name.

know...by sight (= I often see her but have not really spoken to her )

I only know her by sight .

laid down by statute (= established by law )

Protection for the consumer is laid down by statute .

lead by example (= show people what they should do by doing it yourself )

The captain of the team should lead by example.

lead by ten points/two goals etc

Nadal was leading by two sets.

learning...by rote

In old-fashioned schools, much learning was by rote .

lose by a large/small etc margin

He lost by only a narrow margin.

lose (sth) by 1 goal/10 votes/20 points etc

The government lost by one vote.

The Communist candidate lost by a whisker a very small amount .

mean sth by a remark

What did you mean by that remark?

moment to moment/moment by moment (= used for emphasizing that something changes quickly )

The colours of the sunset changed moment to moment.

multiply one number by another

What happens if you multiply a postive number by a negative number?

navigate by the stars

Early explorers used to navigate by the stars .

not by a long way/shot informal ( also not by a long chalk British English ) (= not at all or not nearly )

He had not told Rory everything, not by a long shot.

obtaining money by deception

He was convicted of obtaining money by deception .

pay by card

Is it all right if I pay by card?

pay (by) cash

They won’t take credit cards, so you have to pay cash.

pay by cheque

You can pay by cheque or credit card.

pay by cheque

I filled up with petrol and then paid by cheque.

pay by credit card

The hotel does not charge more if you pay by credit card.

pay...by...instalments

They’re letting me pay for the washing machine by monthly instalments .

pay/charge by the hour (= pay or charge someone according to the number of hours it takes to do something )

You can pay by the hour to hire a boat.

piece by piece (= one part at a time )

The fireplace was carefully dismantled piece by piece .

play by the rules (= do what is expected and agreed )

The system works well enough — as long as everyone plays by the rules.

play it by ear

We’ll see what the weather’s like and play it by ear .

possessed by the devil

She was convinced he was possessed by the devil .

protected by copyright

The database will be protected by copyright .

purely by chance

It happened purely by chance .

reduce/cut sth by half (= make something 50% smaller or 50% less )

The company has reduced the number of staff by half.

rule by decree (= make all the important decisions himself )

He announced that henceforth he would rule by decree .

send sth by post

They sent me the contract by post.

send sth by post/sea/air etc

Monday is the last day to send cards by post to arrive by Christmas.

stand idly by

I cannot stand idly by and let him take the blame.

sth is by no means certain (= not definite )

Victory was by no means certain for Smith.

sth is damaged/destroyed by fire

The school was badly damaged by fire.

stick by a decision/promise etc

He has stuck by his radical plans for economic reform.

stick to/go by the rules informal (= obey them )

We all have to stick to the rules.

struck by lightning

The temple burned down after it was struck by lightning last year.

struck by...bolt of lightning

There’s not much left of his house after it was struck by a bolt of lightning .

stuck by...through thick and thin

Jean has stuck by her husband through thick and thin .

take sb by the arm (= lead someone somewhere holding their arm )

‘It’s this way’ he said, taking me by the arm.

take sb by the hand (= hold someone’s hand in order to take them somewhere )

She took the boy by the hand and led him across the street.

Take...step by step

Take each lesson step by step .

that’s fine by me/that’s fine with me etc spoken (= used when saying that you do not mind about something )

If Scott wanted to keep his life secret, that was fine by her.

time passes/goes by

As time passed, she thought less and less about her family back home.

travel by train/car/air etc

Emily hated travelling by train.

trial by jury (= a trial with a jury )

Defendants have a right to trial by jury.

trivial by comparison

Her feelings for Simon seemed trivial by comparison .

typified by

non-violent protest, typified by Gandhi

undercharge sb by £1/$2 etc

They undercharged me by about $2.

was...touched by (= doubt affected him )

He was often touched by doubt .

what is meant by

The report fails to define what is meant by the term ‘key issues’.

(whether) by fair means or foul (= using unfair methods if necessary )

They were determined to achieve victory, by fair means or foul.

win by 10 points/ten metres etc

We won by 23 points.

win by a large/small etc margin

The party won by a huge margin.

win/lose by 5/10 etc points

We only lost by two points.

won by a landslide

The SNP candidate won by a landslide .

PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES

(all) by herself

She raised her daughter by herself .

She was sitting at a table by herself .

By herself she could jump over fences and ditches better than her brothers.

Ellie McGlynn was there, standing by herself on the front porch.

He sidled into her mind, usually when she was by herself but not always; he wasn't shy.

It was so tragic that the girl should be going through all this by herself .

Minna had gone away quietly all by herself , probably to meet Zbigniew Shapira at a Danzig hotel.

She wanted to be by herself , where there were no lights.

She was too weak to get out of bed by herself , but she might be calling Lester to help her.

She wouldn't have to deal with Anna by herself .

(all) by himself

Don's traveling by himself .

He's standing up by himself already.

But on the campaign trail, Coles sometimes seems like a boxer in the ring by himself .

He walked slowly, all by himself .

He was to be placed with another inmate the next day, but wound up in a cell by himself .

I think Sadlowski by himself could have kept it that simple.

Once Hopkinson arrived late for breakfast to find the Colonel by himself reading a newspaper.

Sir Henry agreed to help in this way, and to go by himself to the Stapletons that evening.

The day he stood alone, by himself , without holding on, he roared out his triumph.

When the officers retired, Hashim used to jump down and play squash by himself .

(all) by itself

The door's not going to close by itself .

Will the dog be safe left in the car by itself ?

About twice as many, for depression by itself .

But then, I think the Nagumo Force can handle this operation all by itself .

It's in there by itself .

Let the fatuous sun shine by itself and let's head for the moon.

Perhaps now he could see why the drawing was in a space by itself .

The growth in members is meaningless all by itself .

The threat of lawsuits by itself is a major factor in driving up health care costs.

To begin with, by itself it doesn't produce anything.

(all) by myself

Actually, I kind of wanted to be by myself tonight.

I ate a whole gallon of ice cream by myself .

All 41 tests were witnessed by myself or other members of the Requalification group and results compared against identified criteria.

All the instructors are carefully selected by myself and they offer a very special service.

And I have done it by myself .

But I can't reach the window by myself .

I go to the movies by myself one autumn evening.

I was out driving around by myself .

The next night, when I found it by myself , I bonded.

(all) by ourselves

This year we wanted to take a vacation by ourselves .

We built the wall all by ourselves .

And when the blur does clear, we imagine that we have made it do so all by ourselves .

Kip and I would have been helpless, by ourselves , in the situation, and Martinez probably intuited it.

Our car was half full, and we were assigned to a row by ourselves .

The walls of our imprisonment were there before we appeared on the scene, but they are ever rebuilt by ourselves .

These services will be provided either directly by ourselves or by independently contracted suppliers.

This information will be considered by ourselves at the key features review and due diligence stages.

We believe we should resolve our issues by ourselves ....

We can manage very well by ourselves .

(all) by themselves

I'm hoping these spots will go away by themselves .

They are both old enough to go to the pool by themselves .

But parents are... waiting for kids to be able to go to the movies and the mall by themselves .

But reasons of identification and self-definition can not by themselves establish the legitimacy of an authority.

He sounded matter-of-fact, as if nine-year-old kids commonly hung out by themselves in his lobby.

If anything is worth while in life at all, some things must be good in and by themselves .

It may not have occurred to them that they could do the same when viewing video by themselves .

Two pairs of dates by themselves tell the story.

Women can be happy by themselves .

Women may not be free to walk by themselves along the streets.

(all) by yourself

(by) courtesy of sb

But this was the end of extra leave by courtesy of Major Ansell.

Even more tips are likely to come in courtesy of the tabloid media.

Her hair is now streaked with expensive frosting courtesy of e Christofe, Beverly Hills stylist to the superstars.

I also owed Maggie the courtesy of letting her know I didn't need her to do my legwork any longer.

Reproduced courtesy of the Wykeham Galleries Procedure I stand at an easel to paint.

The hon. Gentleman does not have to worry about the normal courtesy of staying to listen to the next speaker.

We enclose a stamped, addressed envelope for the courtesy of your reply.

(by) courtesy of sth

But this was the end of extra leave by courtesy of Major Ansell.

Even more tips are likely to come in courtesy of the tabloid media.

Her hair is now streaked with expensive frosting courtesy of e Christofe, Beverly Hills stylist to the superstars.

I also owed Maggie the courtesy of letting her know I didn't need her to do my legwork any longer.

Reproduced courtesy of the Wykeham Galleries Procedure I stand at an easel to paint.

The hon. Gentleman does not have to worry about the normal courtesy of staying to listen to the next speaker.

We enclose a stamped, addressed envelope for the courtesy of your reply.

baptism of/by fire

An as-yet-unproven system called J-STARS, getting its baptism of fire in the Gulf, illustrates the point.

Beige popsters take a vicarious pride in the slow baptism of fire that their chosen genre and its protagonists underwent.

Diana admits that she wasn't easy to handle during that baptism of fire.

It had been a baptism by fire, but she had come through.

It is almost impossible to see where events will lead but you are going through a baptism of fire.

My baptism of fire had been with Leon Brittan who was Chief Secretary until the 1983 general election.

This was our baptism of fire and we learned many lessons.

be actuated by sth

Gandhi was actuated by the belief that it was possible to achieve independence through nonviolence.

be at sb's side/stay by sb's side/not leave sb's side

be bitten by the showbiz/travel/flying etc bug

be bound (by sth)

It has a tourist potential which is bound to revive as the election images of intimidation fade.

The whole compound was bound together with honey and raisins.

There was bound to be some tension when he teamed with Marlon Brando for Guys and Dolls in 1955.

They were bound for the very place where Odysseus had landed.

Two weeks later, he appeared in superior court for a preliminary hearing, and he was bound over for trial.

We are bound by the Insurance Ombudsmans decision, but you are not.

Work inhibition is so frustrating to parents and teachers that they are bound to feel like exploding.

be bound (together) by sth

The two groups were bound together by their hatred of the factory in which they worked.

Decisions and actions are bound by precedent. 3.

Furthermore, the nature of political authority in representative democracies means that governments are bound by doctrines of accountability.

He was bound by golden handcuffs to the Salomon Brothers mortgage trading depart-ment.

If the parties do not wish to be bound by time limits there should be none in the lease.

The Martins too are bound by the same federal law and could be prosecuted.

The political order is bound by values.

The Revenue will not subsequently be bound by any information or statements given, whether expressly or implicitly in relation to the claim.

They were bound by it so long as it was not in conflict with their statutory duty.

be bounded by sth

The U.S. is bounded in the north by Canada and in the south by Mexico.

And at the same time their influence must be bounded by other, dominant ISAs.

Like a family, we are bounded by history, duty, love and mandatory interaction.

Our knowledge is bounded by our ideas, and extends only so far as they are ideas of real essences.

The Apollonian Gasket, attributed to Apollonius of Perga, is bounded by three large circles tangent two by two.

The courtyard was bounded by a range of cloisters two storeys high.

When the young worker's social world was bounded by his village such considerations did not matter.

Where I live at present is bounded by two rivers and is quite close to the sea.

World history was bounded by these two events.

be burdened with/by sth

Alas! the centuries are fraught with pain, and man is burdened by fear and woe.

Apple is burdened with higher development costs than its competition; yet it has had to cut prices to compete.

In the county gaols of Gloucester and Dorchester it was only debtors who were burdened with fees.

James Madison, who was burdened with the War of 1812, was branded as both a warmonger and a coward.

Malthus was burdened by a fatalism induced by fears of population growth and resource shortages.

Poor Griet is burdened by more than having to scrub the Vermeer family smalls in this fictional biography of a painting.

Surgeons should not be burdened with the responsibility of assessing their own degree of risk.

The colliery is struggling to fulfil its contracts and is burdened by £1.7 million in debts.

be capped by sth

And it fears spending could soon be capped by the Government.

Saturday night was capped by a ranger program, goodies and campfire stories.

The festivities were capped by an emotional presentation of a set of Bohemian cut glass from the staff to Bernard and Laura.

The five-run flurry was capped by Steve Finley, who hit a three-run homer.

The jute tips were capped by an ethereal green mist, through which a dozen or so fist-sized stars peeked.

They were capped by flat discs and had a smooth surface without any semblance of an aero dynamic profile.

be carried along (by sth)

Corpses were carried along, standing upright.

He wasn't, so he didn't go right down, but was carried along under water.

I let myself be carried along by the crowd.

She was carried along the railway line to the station from where an ambulance took her to Colchester General Hospital.

be conspicuous by your/its absence

If I have any qualification, it is that contemporary work is conspicuous by its absence.

be cursed with/by sth

He is cursed with this evaluative frame of mind.

He is cursed with this understanding.

I learned he had the same goofy sense of humor I was cursed with.

Instead, he might be cursed with one who would rob him blind and charge him three-times the wages for the privilege.

Lydia Glasher writes that the wearer of these diamonds will be cursed by the wrong she did.

She loses her wings and dies, leaving him to be cursed by Madge.

These poor chaps were searching desperately for a project which would not be cursed with the ephemeral vulgarity of their usual tasks.

be devoured by sth

Howard was devoured by hatred for his co-workers.

Every Underground movement that goes overground is devoured by banality.

The boats were lowered but the harpooner on the boat nearest him was devoured by the Great White Whale.

This continent bore a very advanced civilization, but was devoured by the ocean in some unspecified catastrophe.

be eaten up with/by jealousy/anger/curiosity etc

be equalled (only) by sth

Holding's 28 wickets were equalled by Andy Roberts.

Indeed, in many respects, Ireland was equalled only by Byzantium.

She seemed in no hurry to have them come, for her patience was equalled by her confidence.

She was a woman without vision or curiosity; her distaste for books was equalled only by her dislike of people.

The pleasures of driving our GTi are equalled only by the irritations.

The savagery which he showed towards his opponents was equalled only by that of the discipline that he imposed upon his supporters.

This amount is equalled by naturally forming sulphur that originates mainly from volcanoes and huge clusters of marine bacteria.

be fronted by/with sth

How can a show that searches for talent be fronted by a bloke who hasn't got any?

Like most Roman churches, the building is of brick and is fronted by a porch and open narthex.

The façade is fronted by a narthex which is supported on Norman columns and capitals.

The house was fronted by a flat Italianate lily pond.

be hoist with/by your own petard

be inundated (with/by sth)

He said his organization is inundated with calls of sympathy.

Most likely this person is inundated with reading material at work and at home.

One-third of the world's human population lives on land that is liable to be inundated if the seas rise.

She might have guessed that as soon as she tried for a little peace and quiet the whole place would be inundated with callers.

She would be inundated with calls.

The southwestern United States and California are inundated with illegals.

We are inundated with relatives we encourage it and we make it a special time.

be nettled (by sth)

be overtaken by events

be riveted on/to/by sth

All eyes were riveted on him, and anyone who had seating space sat down quietly.

Armchair travellers will be riveted to their seats while the more adventurous will get itchy feet.

Her eyes were riveted to the screen with the troubled innocence of a child.

His eyes were riveted to the overhead screen while the heel of his right foot tapped nervously on the floor.

His vision was riveted to one vanishing point on a particular horizon, and that was the story of avant-garde art.

My eyes are riveted to that glorious old banner...

Of course the country may be riveted by the latest video release or the latest Nintendo game.

be sanctioned by sth

The social hierarchy was determined by birth and sanctioned by religion.

The right of some one to exercise power is sanctioned by the organisation's rules.

be seized with/by terror/desire etc

be surrounded by sb/sth

At work, I'm surrounded by people who don't know what they're doing.

But the brain is surrounded by the skull, and all that escaped blood takes up space, squeezing the brain.

For at school, the young man would be surrounded by men much like him-self.

Groups of Federals are surrounded by ConfederatesConfederates surrounded by Federals.

He is surrounded by an electronic keyboard, a rack of music equipment, a recording microphone and a personal computer.

Le Sport is surrounded by tropical gardens on a secluded bay of golden sand.

The burial place was surrounded by the crypt and above it, in the church, was the high altar.

The Volvo, whose windows wind down to reveal plush red curtains, is surrounded by stepladders.

They claimed that when they were surrounded by the gang they acted in self defence.

be taken aback (by sth)

He was taken aback by the new demands of the job.

I was taken aback , but deep down I wasn't totally surprised.

Intel was taken aback by the intensity of public anger.

Jonadab was taken aback , not being a man given to overt affection.

She was taken aback to realise just how far her reservations about seeing him had disappeared.

The authorities were taken aback , and took the unprecedented step of cordoning off the painting.

The man spun round so swiftly that George was taken aback and tripped, falling on to the soft mud.

be taken with/by sth

Even at the early hour I was taken with her freshness, her blond, tousled hair, her milk-warm voluptuous body.

Great care was taken with his education, but teaching him what he did not wish to learn was a dangerous business.

People in Bohemia had been so full of self-confidence that they were taken by surprise.

Such action might be taken by all group members or by some members who formally or informally represent the entire group.

The boy sustained a fractured left arm and was taken by ambulance to San Jose Medical Center.

The initiative was taken by Bafuor Osei Akoto, a prosperous, go-ahead cocoa farmer of Kumasi.

The pretty presenter was taken by ambulance to London's Charing Cross Hospital at 6 am with terrible stomach pains.

This series of photographs was taken by a security camera at the Leeds Building Society.

be tied to/by sth

A concrete thinker is tied to particular data; a formal thinker operates hypothetically.

Derivatives are contracts whose values are tied to the price of some other asset such as a stock or a bond.

I've far less trust than her so I'd not let myself be tied by or to anyone.

She was tied to a sacrificial altar.

Suddenly Donald was tied to his chair with the flex from the lamp, the plug still attached.

The banks, in turn, claimed that their hands were tied by federal regulators who discouraged them from lending.

This mammoth battle vividly demonstrated how inextricably railways are tied to politics.

When he woke up again, he was tied to the bed in the hospital back in prison.

be too clever by half

Phil's good at thinking up excuses for his behaviour - he's too clever by half.

be topped by sth

His spare middle-aged frame is topped by a large head with sallow cheeks, thin lips, and receding chin.

It is topped by a cone.

It is topped by a wind-blown crust that almost holds our weight as we descend.

The High Altar is topped by a copper St Nicholas surrounded by putti.

The light purple flanks of the fish are topped by a golden streak dappled with red and purple.

We were topped by ballerinas dressed as bumblebees.

be undisturbed by sth

Looking down from the balcony on to the terrace, she observed that the cat was undisturbed by the gulls.

be/feel hard done by

Having played in the previous winning Eisenhower Trophy team with distinction I think he can feel hard done by.

The idea of a passenger going without pudding and then leaving the aircraft feeling hard done by troubles them.

Thomas felt hard done by, contested the will and lost.

To any readers who feel hard done by or annoyed please accept my sincere apologies.

You've every right to feel hard done by, so don't start thinking that you're being selfish.

bit by bit

Bit by bit, our apartment started to look like a home.

But then, slowly, bit by bit, year by year, I began to change my mind.

In therapy, we chip away at this, bit by bit.

Make a small cut and then try to pull the gall to pieces bit by bit.

So bit by bit you're being written into the programme and fed into the computer.

The experiment faltered bit by bit.

The information only came out bit by bit since she's still not easy in her mind about talking to us.

Thus, bit by bit, the child learns to string together more complicated sequences.

You can shop meal by meal, or bit by bit.

by George!

by God

By God , that's good money!

by Jove!

by a factor of five/ten etc

Other watches of the time sped up or slowed down by a factor of ten seconds for every one-degree change in temperature.

So look at your friends, see what they are a little vain about and then multiply by a factor of ten.

by a long way

And before they went there I thought they would, by a long way .

He plays both but his preference, and by a long way , is for gaelic football.

In the home market, it led the field by a long way , with 4,337,487 units sold.

It is by a long way his preferred title when he refers to himself.

It is, by a long way , the greatest test yet of whether he is up to the job.

Moreover, the pretty paper kites in the clear blue skies still outnumber the documentary versions by a long way .

The expense allowances they received often failed, sometimes by a long way , to cover the costs they had to meet.

by a mile

And yet Simeon flunked virtually every exam, often by a mile .

At the rate he was going we were going to miss it by a mile .

But the service is not yet good enough by a mile .

I hope you pay heed, you're still my favourite tome by miles ... for now.

It's the best by miles .

Some writers have suggested that this will replace browsing, but they miss the point by a mile .

They're the favourites by a mile .

Whoever planted that tree beat Mr Buddy by a mile .

by a neck

Our horse won by a neck .

Although tying up, she battled on well to hold off Flying Speed by a neck .

But things have now improved and sales in comparable shops are currently ahead of last year, if only by a neck .

The springing swan-bows, neck by neck, would slide homing into the sand-flats like silk.

by a nose

There was more drama to follow in the actual race, where Shemaka held on by a nose from Baya.

by accident

Fleming discovered penicillin almost by accident .

He brought over some of my mail that was delivered to his house by accident .

Lombardi heard about their plan quite by accident .

The fire started by accident .

The trigger of the gun is locked so that it cannot be fired by accident .

We ended up by accident on the wrong train and had to ride all the way to Montreal.

by air

It's actually less expensive to go by air to San Francisco.

by all means!

by and large

Also, he worked, by and large , in second-rank bands.

And by and large , they do a fine job.

But as valuable as animals are, they have a serious drawback: by and large , they hate alcohol.

But the truth was that, by and large , the research university focuses its collective intelligence on other matters.

Hodgkin, by and large , just looks as if he's strayed in here and is making lots of noise.

Society seems bitter turmoil, by and large .

The reproducible arts of photography and printmaking still remain, by and large , categorised as lesser arts.

You know, opposites of each other by and large .

by any chance

Would you, by any chance , know where a pay phone is?

Are they, as Private Eye might say, by any chance related?

But before you call anyone, find out if by any chance he has a telephone number in Marshfield.

Can anyone out there tell me what frequency Radio 5 broadcasts on ... by any chance on shortwave?

Do you feel, by any chance , awful?

Does my right hon. Friend by any chance recollect the average inflation rate under the last Labour Government?

I wanted to ask her if she was, by any chance , called Veronica, but I didn't dare.

Is Mr Sands awake by any chance ?

Is there a connection between Jack Benny and Charles Manson, by any chance ?

by any stretch (of the imagination)

Raising children isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination.

All good things but not wildly expensive, not by any stretch of the imagination.

I am very puzzled as to how either of these two items can be cash flows by any stretch of the imagination.

It could not by any stretch of the imagination be anything else.

Management is typically the reason people walk out, but it is not 100 percent by any stretch of the imagination.

Not that Tiptoe could be called a child, by any stretch of the imagination.

That is not ` good news' by any stretch of the imagination!

The program isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

by appointment to the Queen

by choice

She is childless by choice .

by default

The dollar is benefiting by default from the weakness of the yen.

by definition

Graffiti, no matter how well painted, is vandalism by definition .

by degrees

By degrees , little children grow less dependent on their parents.

Improvement will come by degrees .

The storm intensified by degrees until the rain was pouring down.

Consciousness could not have arisen by degrees .

For since all natural change proceeds by degrees , something changes and something remains.

Huy forced himself into a sitting position by degrees and brought the empty jar of fig liquor into vision.

Let her learn about it by degrees .

Not all at once, but by degrees , Dada made a conquest of this stallion of modern technology.

The downpour did not intensify by degrees but simply gushed forth with biblical fury, vertical and windless.

This is the model on which the National Curriculum is to be created and by degrees imposed on the primary schools.

by dint of (doing) sth

A peculiar light seemed shed over everything, by dint of it being that house and no other!

And though his grades each week never varied much from 9 and 10, it was only by dint of hard work.

by extension

Women lawyers, and by extension all professional women, looked for ways to balance family and work.

by fair means or foul

by far/far and away

Coolness is by far and away the most important feature of a car these days.

by gum!

by hand

The letter had been delivered by hand , and was addressed to Mrs Zippie Isaacs.

The rug was made by hand .

They delivered their wedding invitations by hand .

by heart

by hook or by crook

The police are going to get these guys, by hook or by crook.

If she set her mind on something, then she had to acquire it, by hook or by crook.

by leaps and bounds/in leaps and bounds

by lot

by marriage

John's my cousin by marriage .

by means of sth

Critics were silenced by means of torture and unfair trials.

Funds for economic development were provided by means of sterling bond issues in the London capital market.

Initially this will be done by means of markers or cones and we will explain the new arrangements to the children.

Let us briefly consider how you might analyze this claim by means of the scientific method.

Maximilian was killed by means of a carbonic acid injection.

Or gas before he backed himself into a corner and tried to escape by means of the faro table.

Other ethnographic techniques Ethnographic research is not carried out only by means of participant observation and unstructured interviewing.

Word of the Barrio barred owl spread among birders by means of an efficient and long established telephone grapevine.

by mistake

Gary wandered into the wrong hotel room by mistake .

I deleted a whole afternoon's work on the computer by mistake .

I opened this by mistake , Paula, but I think it's for you - sorry.

Jodie opened the letter by mistake

Michelle must have picked up my keys by mistake .

by no means/not by any means

It's difficult, but by no means impossible.

It's not clear by any means where the money is going to come from to fund this project.

It is by no means certain that you'll get your money back.

by numbers

Certain things, such as electric charge, bank balances, or dates are quantified by numbers of this kind.

Healthy living by numbers A low cholesterol level means reduced risk of heart disease, say doctors.

It had happened before, she must just plot the next square like painting by numbers .

The numerous shades were indicated by numbers .

These consist of a capital letter followed by numbers .

We were just cueing the sections by numbers , which is how they do it in New Orleans.

Weeks later, she was still painting by numbers .

by proxy

by return (of post)

Any sent will be copied and sent back by return of post.

But Smith bailed them out by returning seven punts for a school-record 150 yards.

Companies are classified by returns , and all companies with an equivalent return have the same business risk.

Earlier this year, the Dole campaign alienated many Log Cabin members by returning a campaign contribution from the gay organization.

He was given 25 years but tried to negotiate a cut in his sentence by returning half of the stolen gold.

I end it by returning to those encounters.

Please answer by return of mail.

Professor Sano writes back by return mail.

by rights

He's worked the land all his life, so by rights it's his.

But, by rights , the smaller one shouldn't exist.

He ought by rights to have died of shame at 30, or of drink at 50.

He was a man whom, by rights , she ought not even to like.

It was by rights his, he said.

It winds down into winter, and yet by rights it should be barely midsummer.

Of course by rights this should fall to Edward, but for reasons best known to himself it seems he's said nothing.

So banks hang on to business that they should by rights lose, but find it hard to win new good-quality business.

by sb's own account

But, by his own account , he agreed he would speak to the Shah if they too would do so.

Do the math: Some 2, 250 shows by his own account .

This was the type of man he was looking for and, by his own account , not infrequently found.

When he was young and full of the new learning of Oxford and Cambridge he appears arrogant even by his own account .

by the book

Rules are not to be broken - Barb does everything by the book .

Hopefully when I get a new tank set up, I will have more success in numbers by going by the book .

In the three years covered by the book he loses his virginity, his father and, briefly, his mind.

Instead of managing by the book , this is strictly managing by the storybook.

Mr and Mrs X and their children live in the house in the corner by the books .

Nothing has gone by the book in this case.

The decision to go ahead was made, by the book , Vaughan says.

They play it by the book - their book not mine.

Throughout Defense, people buy by the book .

by the hour/from hour to hour

by the minute

Medical technology changes almost by the minute .

By late Friday evening, the campsite was already half full with more campers arriving by the minute .

Extra police had been brought in, but the Bridgeport mob grew by the minute .

I became angrier by the minute , but I could not convey to them why I was so upset.

I could feel my attitude souring by the minute .

It was getting darker by the minute .

Its innovation and principal selling point was that it bills by the second rather than by the minute .

More were arriving by the minute , but were not coming up the track.

Now it's getting more violent by the minute .

by the same token

I want to win, but by the same token, I don't want to hurt Sam's confidence.

And, by the same token, the world will come to be filled with the links in this causal chain.

But by the same token it is most likely that in their own interests they would scrutinize the work of contemporary photographers.

But by the same token, it can be understood more or less differently.

Conversely, by the same token, no statement is immune to revision.

It would forfeit, by the same token, any claim to be recognised as law.

Space-time is therefore an extremely stiff medium, and by the same token small-amplitude waves carry large energies.

The boat lunges forward and yet almost by the same token lunges back again.

The inducement to give is greater, but by the same token there is a cost to the Exchequer in lost revenue.

by the score

But he admitted that he himself granted them by the score .

Labor and trade union officials were arrested by the score .

Of course, Doyle's success brought imitators by the score , all writing then in the short story form.

The barrage ignited waves of pandemonium, as parents by the scores rushed to the school, which has 700 pupils.

Wally's friends would come in here by the scores , at any odd hour of the day or night.

by the scruff of the neck

It just caught me by the scruff of the neck and practically hammered my guts out.

One had hold of the other by the scruff of the neck and had fetched blood.

Three were dragged back on to the train and taken by the scruff of the neck from station to police car.

Your eyes narrow against the claws gripping you by the scruff of the neck until you let your hook of anger go.

by the skin of your teeth

Jeff just got into college by the skin of his teeth.

The business is surviving, but only by the skin of its teeth.

The car broke down on the way to the airport and they just caught the plane by the skin of their teeth.

by the way

Oh, by the way , Vicky called while you were out.

And it's Jonathan, by the way .

By the way , we are ruling out places like South Bend, Ind..

Davis is a man, by the way , not a monster.

Fast, by the way , is the operative word.

His narrating hero and anchorman, Nicholas Jenkins, is constantly being mildly surprised by the way things and people turn out.

Ni-cads, by the way , should not be left in a discharged state for very long periods.

You can tell that by the way they muck schedules about.

by turns

She had been by turns confused, angry, and finally jealous.

And her listener feels both protective and irritated by turns .

Bedford is by turns hilarious and ironic in the best sense: compassionate and yet clear-eyed.

Beneath her external calm, she raged and felt frightened by turns .

For the conductors, the process is by turns exciting and exhausting, agonizing and enlightening.

I felt myself growing shy and scared by turns .

She is both ingenuous and sophisticated by turns .

The script is terrible, the acting by turns melodramatic and wooden, the direction confused.

Yes, so catlike, owlish, aggressive and passive, hostile and amicable by turns .

by virtue of sth

I am Claire's aunt by virtue of marriage.

And never once did I find myself the center of collective stares, simply by virtue of being a gaijin.

But is it true that we learn just by virtue of being busy and having lots of experiences?

Catholicism, however gripped the masses by virtue of its incense, its ritual, all quite arbitrary, compulsion without purpose.

Madeira was transformed into an offshore centre by virtue of legislation enacted in 1986.

Prominent individuals were often prominent by virtue of the groups of which they were leaders.

by way of sth

"She asked for it," Kyle said by way of explanation.

Bacteria communicate with each other by way of chemical messages.

We flew to Europe by way of Iceland.

But much more is needed by way of investigation.

He sows seeds of confusion by way of a million opinions on every subject within its covers.

Myrtle, an aunt new to the Mundays by way of wedding Manny Munday on his deathbed.

Patagonia does not offer a huge deal by way of urban amenities, and for many of us this is its beauty.

The net result of war making by way of symbols is to widen the actual gap between luxury and poverty.

The youth was later dealt with by way of a reprimand.

Their appearance in the grand parade was only by way of an introduction.

These contain suppressors by way of engram command, ally computations and painful emotion.

by/from all accounts

By all accounts , Garcia was an excellent manager.

Astor was a shy, austere and, by all accounts , unlovable man.

But Alice was the only one of the Pritchetts who had, from all accounts , risen above her station in life.

Caligula was degenerate but, by all accounts , did not deign to hide the fact.

Elephants, by all accounts , were pretty strong too.

Now there's Dan Crawley in hospital with the pneumonia, and poor Jenny is penniless by all accounts .

Shaughnessy was a heroic figure-a brilliant writer and by all accounts a splendid teacher and leader.

She was calculating and ambitious, and by all accounts at least a competent journalist.

The original building was, by all accounts , demolished when St. John's railway station was constructed on its present site.

by/from the sound of it/things

Ana was trapped here, though, by the sound of it.

And all this provided by Summerchild, from the sound of it.

But by the sound of it your brothers are a hale and hearty pair.

But then Summerchild didn't know himself to start with, by the sound of it.

He heard Lee shooting them down, then him whistling. From the sound of it he was still around.

In the other boat, the priest had started gabbling in Latin - the Dies Irae, by the sound of it.

Something hissed - steam escaping, from the sound of it.

You've had a hard day, and by the sound of it not an easy life.

by/in leaps and bounds

As the 1860s drew to a close, Kansas effectively put its violent heritage behind; change accelerated by leaps and bounds.

Existing industries expanded in leaps and bounds.

He has come on in leaps and bounds this season.

In fact, vegetarianism is growing by leaps and bounds, particularly among the health-conscious.

Meanwhile, California was now using up its entire entitlement and still growing by leaps and bounds.

Meanwhile, Charles was recovering in leaps and bounds.

Since Richard left for California last fall, my bank account has grown by leaps and bounds.

The women's confidence increased by leaps and bounds.

by/since when

Chances are you will find corn syrup listed as a sweetener. Since when do we put corn in strawberry jam?

Each form finishes with a summary of the work to be undertaken, by whom and by when .

However, the next owner dismantled the walls in 1685, since when it has remained in a state of decay.

Many did not obey, but most were close by when the storm hit.

Me: No kidding, since when ?

Not three weeks on the Island had gone by when Mami called.

The winter of Keynesian discontent probably occurred in the early 1980s, since when there have been signs of a marked rally.

What was the matter with her? Since when had fitzAlan needed encouragement to show anger?

by/through force of circumstance(s)

Like all Trolls they will eat anything and through force of circumstance they tend to eat a lot of rocks.

Some sectors, moreover, lagged behind completely, by force of circumstances or on account of reluctance to abandon traditional ways.

Ware was a strict Palladian by upbringing but a stylistic schizoid by force of circumstances.

by/through the agency of sb

Any extra equipment or special materials he required could be obtained through the agency of the headquarters' staff.

Dubos started from the assumption that all organic matter added to the soil eventually undergoes decomposition through the agency of micro-organisms.

Finally, an active regional policy was introduced through the agency of the Board of Trade.

It is then enforced and upheld by the agencies of the state.

It operates through the agencies of the different control systems such as the autonomic nervous system, hormonal system, immune system etc.

Thrift has nearly killed her on several occasions, through the agency of old sausages, slow-punctured tyres, rusty blades.

by/through trial and error

They learned to farm the land through trial and error.

Each individual achieves his own style by trial and error.

He learned everything just by trial and error.

I did the tutorial that came with the package deal and learned a lot through trial and error.

In any case, they were confident these minor bugs could be worked out through trial and error.

It pointed out that: Everything seems to be done by trial and error.

Science progresses by trial and error.

Some had to learn by trial and error.

These are things we learn by trial and error.

by/through/out of force of habit

catch sb by surprise, catch sb off guard, catch sb napping/unawares

My pregnancy caught us by surprise, but we're happy about it.

The public's reaction obviously caught the governor off guard.

cheek by jowl (with sb/sth)

The farmers live cheek by jowl with the pits that are shutting down.

The guests, packed cheek by jowl, parted as he entered, and suddenly she knew the reason for the party.

come by (sth)

come by sth

day by day

Day by day Jeffrey began to feel better.

But expectations seemed to diminish day by day over the last week.

Candidates became steadily more visible day by day throughout the campaign, however.

He can sense the options as they come and go, day by day.

Marion and I are living day by day.

She gets weaker day by day.

That generates an attitude of formal control, instead of the day by day probing and checking that should be practised.

This bid changes day by day.

Y., the investigation is moving forward the same way: day by day.

death by misadventure

A second inquest in February 1987, returned a verdict of death by misadventure .

A verdict of death by misadventure was recorded.

At the end of a four-hour hearing, the inquest jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure .

The coroner's jury brought in death by misadventure , on advice by the coroner.

The coroner recorded a verdict of death by misadventure .

do sth by the seat of your pants

do well by sb

He's left home, but he still does well by his kids.

Economic constraints or limitations can be overcome given a sufficiently high motivation to do well by the individual entrepreneur.

do well by sb

Economic constraints or limitations can be overcome given a sufficiently high motivation to do well by the individual entrepreneur.

don't judge a book by its cover

fall by the wayside

A lot of marriages fall by the wayside because couples cannot talk to each other.

Congress has let many important issues fall by the wayside this session.

But better singers fell by the wayside.

How many more fell by the wayside in the process?

In any event, the idea that Lazarsfeld had discovered a ubiquitous method of social research has to fall by the wayside.

Inevitably some fall by the wayside, but his success rate is surprisingly high considering the breadth of the repertoire he tackles.

Many of her colleagues had fallen by the wayside.

The gas tax rollback, initiated because gasoline prices spiked this spring, has since fallen by the wayside.

They were told a lot of wounded men had fallen by the wayside.

fast by sth

We stood on a rock, fast by the river.

fly by the seat of your pants

go by sth

go by sth

go by the board

And because the domestic style was unsuited to amplified discourse, the domestic rules of politeness also went by the board .

Health, education, transport and other welfare spending goes by the board .

Meanwhile, there are other niceties that have simply gone by the board in certain aspects of management life.

Moral standards go by the board in an atmosphere that seems generated purely for the above purposes.

Scientific batsmanship goes by the board .

Their principles have gone by the board .

We had 100 people in the retail home delivery, but that was going by the boards by then.

We used to play golf, but went by the board when he moved.

go by the rulebook

hang by a thread

Ed was just hanging by a thread.

His job is hanging by a thread, as it is.

Hopes of a title hat-trick hang by a thread, but all is not quite lost.

Liputin's teeth are by no means the only things that hang by a thread.

have/get sb by the short and curlies

in/by fits and starts

Electoral reform is moving ahead in fits and starts.

Although change often unfolds in fits and starts, organisations can learn to improve.

But civilization was approaching in fits and starts.

But his proposals for electoral reform, now moving ahead in fits and starts, contain no such provision.

He spoke in fits and starts.

It has continued in fits and starts ever since.

The conversation is awkward, moving in fits and starts.

This means the machine tends to go forward in fits and starts, sometimes quite quickly but at other times embarrassingly slowly.

inch by inch

The old buses moved inch by inch toward the pyramids.

But inch by inch they were being driven back.

He was holding Maidstone's hat in both hands, turning it, feeding the brim inch by inch through his fingers.

It crept towards her mouth, inch by inch.

Lying on your tummy, raise your head and shoulders, curving the spine, inch by inch.

She swallowed and closed her eyes, edging herself forward inch by inch.

Then he climbed inch by inch up to Rainer.

Today detectives undertook an inch by inch search of the area.

Twenty times this monstrous frozen barrier slowly built up, inch by inch, and oozed south.

judging by/from sth

I'd say she's pretty rich, judging from her clothes.

lead by example

Harman leads by example, putting his time in on the production line.

It is best to lead by example and with support.

Longfellows captain Billy McKibben led by example as his team got home 7-2 against the Strikers.

Skipper Alan Kernaghan led by example at the heart of defence and Andy Peake did an excellent job against his former team.

That is surely leading by example!

They are the people who lead by example.

They never preached about it, but just led by example.

Top management will be seen to lead by example.

lead sb by the nose

He let her lead him by the nose.

like magic/as if by magic

little by little

Little by little I became more fluent in German.

Bingo broke me in and taught me the ropes, and little by little I became his boy.

But little by little he would piece it all together.

But time went on, and little by little I realized that this was not going to happen.

I run my fingers over this invisible object, and little by little curiosity gets the better of me.

Then little by little words are exchanged.

Then, little by little, step by step, their dreams grow with the size of their business.

These things, therefore, became little by little private property.

This proved difficult and Josef Vissarionovich had to be blown up little by little over a period of two weeks.

live by your wits

The city's homeless live completely by their wits.

Days when there were no news sensations the newsboys lived by their wits.

Freddie lived by his wits and he was involved with many shady characters.

month by month

Unemployment figures are rising month by month.

Because you produced it on loose pages I could exhibit it month by month as you organised it.

Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month.

The hon. Gentleman has no evidence for asserting that standards have dropped month by month.

The market is changing not year by year, but month by month.

never let a day/week/year etc go by without doing sth

not by any manner of means

You know, it isn't all sweetness and light here, not by any manner of means.

not do sth by halves

I'm sure it will be a fantastic wedding. Eva never does anything by halves .

He comes from a family that does not do things by halves .

on/by your lonesome

Are you by your lonesome this weekend?

one by one

One by one, worshipers walked to the front of the church.

At once Lord Boddy did the same, and one by one, as they listened and nodded, everyone else followed suit.

He examined them one by one.

Little puffs of dust rose up as he opened them, one by one.

Paul, Minnesota, and one by one three of the younger brothers who also became lawyers joined George there.

She ticks them off, one by one, on her long slender fingers.

The problems were then studied one by one in order of urgency.

They were all taken away by the Red Guards, broken one by one in the street.

We hold one another, then we return, one by one, each person saying a private good-bye.

pale in/by comparison

But even these concerns pale by comparison with the fears that people have about traffic safety.

But that pales in comparison to what he brings to this city.

But the nine goals paled in comparison to the 16-plus average the stars have produced over the past seven games.

Everything pales in comparison to a creation of this awesome magnitude.

The number fired and to be fired at Burlington Northern pales in comparison with the number to be let go at AT&.

The two disputes he mentioned pale in comparison with others looming on the horizon.

They also prevail in an era where travel abuses pale in comparison to those of earlier years.

pass by (sb/sth)

Also, the House rejected a measure, passed by the Senate Tuesday, to reopen closed government offices.

But the positive interest of an agent is some guarantee that your work is not passing by unnoticed.

I want to call out bravely, the way little children in the countryside used to exclaim when we passed by.

It had clearly passed by the inhabitants of this quiet corner of Picardy.

It isn't something you could pass by and not notice.

Longest Night had passed by without incident, and Chater had not returned until mid-January.

That day at the office seemed to pass by in an even more dreamlike fashion than usual.

Three, in one form or another, are still in the budget bill passed by Congress and vetoed by President Clinton.

pass sb by

He ended up a bitter old man who felt that life had somehow passed him by.

Seize opportunities while you can -- don't let them pass you by.

Sometimes I feel that all the best things in life are passing me by.

play sth by ear

As he has no political party that can provide him with practical support, he is forced to play it by ear .

At 2, he played the piano by ear .

But the government is having to play it by ear .

He heard jazz records at home when very young and played piano by ear .

So each played it by ear , with resulting policy shifts that often appeared to be not only sudden but incomprehensible.

Well, she would play it by ear .

play sth by ear

As he has no political party that can provide him with practical support, he is forced to play it by ear.

At 2, he played the piano by ear.

But the government is having to play it by ear.

He heard jazz records at home when very young and played piano by ear.

So each played it by ear, with resulting policy shifts that often appeared to be not only sudden but incomprehensible.

Well, she would play it by ear.

pull/haul yourself up by your bootstraps

run that by me again

set great/considerable etc store by sth

Being thus disappointed, I now set great store by what the first night might bring.

Bourbon producers set great store by the soft local water which passes through limestone on its way to the distilleries.

Britain had previously set great store by the Lisbon economic summit two years ago, but progress has subsequently been slow.

He had worked for the same engineering firm for thirty years and he had always set great store by the company pension.

It apparently sets great store by creating business and completing assignments relatively quickly.

Organizations which set great store by behavioural conformity often develop patterns of operation which can appear ridiculous in their manifestations.

The ancient Israelites set great store by proper burial.

side by side

Doctors and scientists are working side by side to find a cure for AIDS.

In Egypt, fundamentalism and feminism have long existed side by side.

It was a strange situation with Washington, Pretoria and Peking fighting side by side.

Sabina and Mel sat side by side in the back seat.

Soldiers worked side by side with civilians to rebuild the city.

They lay side by side on the couch until Sonia fell asleep.

We walked along slowly side by side.

But teachers in the classroom argue that both methods have to be used side by side.

Have each group take turns gluing their items side by side on the graph.

Media mavens contend that the visual comparison of the two men side by side is half the battle.

On entering the office I saw that Donald had placed two hard chairs side by side facing his desk.

The two boys grew up side by side and became close friends.

The two ideas of him, the low and the high, persisted side by side for a long time.

They lay side by side, doing their relaxation exercises - deep breathing and total muscular relaxation from the feet up.

They sat side by side in the double passenger seat, watching me as I approached.

smitten with/by sth

stand by sb

stand by sth

stand or fall by/on sth

But the argument must stand or fall on its merits.

For the government, acceptance of central planning did not stand or fall on the issue of nationalisation.

It seems that this is a case that will stand or fall on its own particular facts.

Mr Karimov knows that he will stand or fall on his ability to stave off economic collapse.

The school has an outstanding and deserved reputation, which will stand or fall by the testimony of its pupils.

The storyline was always going to stand or fall by the performance of Tim Guinee as Lazar.

The success of the new News at Ten will stand or fall on his relationship with the seven million plus viewers.

Their case would stand or fall on her reliability.

suicide by cop

swing by (sth)

take sb/sth by surprise

But still Hsu Fu was not satisfied or took us by surprise .

But the vehemence and anger of this response take her by surprise .

He rolled towards Lily, taking her by surprise .

His deep voice took Romanov by surprise .

Inspector Montgomery's sudden termination of the interview had taken her by surprise initially, but now she understood his strategy.

Midlife never took me by surprise .

Such cheery jobless numbers have taken everybody by surprise .

The thought that had been waiting to be revealed, waiting to take him by surprise .

take somewhere by storm

take the bull by the horns

Helena decided to take the bull by the horns and organize the show herself.

We decided to take the bull by the horns and go to court, instead of paying the fine.

take/catch sb by surprise

He caught me by surprise and I sounded foolish.

He rolled towards Lily, taking her by surprise .

His deep voice took Romanov by surprise .

In consequence, untold numbers of sailors died when their destinations suddenly loomed out of the sea and took them by surprise .

Inspector Montgomery's sudden termination of the interview had taken her by surprise initially, but now she understood his strategy.

The hug takes him by surprise .

The thought that had been waiting to be revealed, waiting to take him by surprise .

Welch and I had a rather heated exchange about the appropriateness of his editorial interference, which had caught me by surprise .

too clever/rich/good etc by half

The arithmetic can not be faulted - and may well be judged too clever by half .

unaccompanied by sth

watch the world go by

In this little village you can still sit in the town café and watch the world go by.

Anonymous, watching the world go by for a moment.

Did Victorine have a favorite cafe from which she watched the world go by?

It's very pleasant to linger in a pavement cafe here and just watch the world go by.

Or simply relax and watch the world go by.

Plenty have terraces from which to watch the world go by accompanied by a hot waffle or a glass of beer.

The George Street precinct is a great place to pause, enjoy the frequent street entertainment and watch the world go by.

This is not a place to stand and stare, or to sit and watch the world go by.

When we were lads Walton's doorway was where we always used to stand and watch the world go by.

win/lose by a whisker

Davidson won the election by a whisker .

He finished second in the 1988 Superstars, losing by a whisker in the final event.

In a race that was ultimately won by a whisker , the Powell effect may even have made the difference for Bush.

without so much as a by your leave

year by year

Year by year, things are getting worse.

Because so much has been put into making such fine volumes, they have tended to increase in value year by year.

But though I refused to age, the students and the other teachers grew younger year by year.

Instead of claiming it year by year, you just fill in a form when you apply for your mortgage.

The car-less core has been expanded year by year, as more neighborhoods have wanted it.

The issues involved in a healthy environment grow year by year.

The pay-back is more evident year by year, as increasingly the focus is on speciality films.

Their living conditions are getting worse year by year, politicians are corrupt, often are not held accountable.

Yet year by year, the day of reckoning grows closer, and nothing is being done.

EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES

"Hamlet" was written by Shakespeare.

By 9.00, most of the guests had arrived.

By God, we actually did it!

By law, cars cannot pass a school bus while it is stopped.

Ann has two children by her ex-husband.

Colette is French by birth.

Doris came in by the back door.

Everyone is worried by the rise in violent crime.

He walked by me without saying hello.

I'll be home by 6.30, I promise.

I'll be home by 9:30.

I go by John's place on my way to work; I can pick him up.

I picked the pot up by the handle.

I saw him standing by the window.

I was overcharged by $3.

It's fine by me if you want to go.

Jim was bitten by a dog.

Most restaurant workers are paid by the hour.

Please try to have this done by Friday.

Profits were $6 million, but by their standards this is low.

II. adverb

EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES

I lay on the grass and watched the clouds floating by .

One or two cars went by , but nobody stopped.

One woman reported seeing a man go by on a motorcycle.

Three hours went by before we heard any news.

EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS

A high school couple walked by , talking ofJesus.

As Ahab and the crew pass it by from day to day they ponder its meaning.

As we talk, Dolph Lundgren waddles by .

The weedy water slid by between him and the shoals and ledges.

There are lots of spots close together around the city centre, then many more close by in a car.

Longman DOCE5 Extras English vocabulary.      Дополнительный английский словарь Longman DOCE5.