Meaning of BY in English



Pronunciation: ' b ī , before consonants also b ə

Function: preposition

Etymology: Middle English, preposition & adverb, from Old English, preposition, be, b ī ; akin to Old High German b ī by, near, Latin ambi- on both sides, around, Greek amphi

Date: before 12th century

1 : in proximity to : NEAR <standing by the window>

2 a : through or through the medium of : VIA <enter by the door> b : in the direction of : TOWARD <north by east> c : into the vicinity of and beyond : PAST <went right by him>

3 a : during the course of <studied by night> b : not later than < by 2 p.m.>

4 a : through the agency or instrumentality of < by force> b : born or begot of c : sired or borne by

5 : with the witness or sanction of <swear by all that is holy>

6 a : in conformity with <acted by the rules> b : ACCORDING TO <called her by name>

7 a : on behalf of <did right by his children> b : with respect to <a lawyer by profession>

8 a : in or to the amount or extent of <win by a nose> b chiefly Scottish : in comparison with : BESIDE

9 ― used as a function word to indicate successive units or increments <little by little> <walk two by two>

10 ― used as a function word in multiplication, in division, and in measurements <divide a by b > <multiply 10 by 4> <a room 15 feet by 20 feet>

11 : in the opinion of : from the point of view of <okay by me>

– by the by or by the bye : INCIDENTALLY 2

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.