By the head
By By (b[imac]), prep. [OE. bi, AS. b[=i], big, near to, by, of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries. bi, be, D. bij, OHG. b[=i], G. bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. 'amfi`. E. prefix be- is orig. the same word. [root]203. See pref. {Be-}.] 1. In the neighborhood of; near or next to; not far from; close to; along with; as, come and sit by me. [1913 Webster]

By foundation or by shady rivulet He sought them both. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. On; along; in traversing. Compare 5. [1913 Webster]

Long labors both by sea and land he bore. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

By land, by water, they renew the charge. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

3. Near to, while passing; hence, from one to the other side of; past; as, to go by a church. [1913 Webster]

4. Used in specifying adjacent dimensions; as, a cabin twenty feet by forty. [1913 Webster]

5. Against. [Obs.] --Tyndale [1. Cor. iv. 4]. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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}. [1913 Webster]

{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.

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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). [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • By the head — Head Head (h[e^]d), n. [OE. hed, heved, heaved, AS. he[ a]fod; akin to D. hoofd, OHG. houbit, G. haupt, Icel. h[ o]fu[eth], Sw. hufvud, Dan. hoved, Goth. haubi[thorn]. The word does not correspond regularly to L. caput head (cf. E. {Chief},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • by the head — phrasal drawing the greater depth of water forward …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • By the bye — By By (b[imac]), prep. [OE. bi, AS. b[=i], big, near to, by, of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries. bi, be, D. bij, OHG. b[=i], G. bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. amfi . E. prefix be is orig. the same word. [root]203. See pref. {Be }.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • By the lee — By By (b[imac]), prep. [OE. bi, AS. b[=i], big, near to, by, of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries. bi, be, D. bij, OHG. b[=i], G. bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. amfi . E. prefix be is orig. the same word. [root]203. See pref. {Be }.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • By the run — By By (b[imac]), prep. [OE. bi, AS. b[=i], big, near to, by, of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries. bi, be, D. bij, OHG. b[=i], G. bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. amfi . E. prefix be is orig. the same word. [root]203. See pref. {Be }.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • By the way — By By (b[imac]), prep. [OE. bi, AS. b[=i], big, near to, by, of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries. bi, be, D. bij, OHG. b[=i], G. bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. amfi . E. prefix be is orig. the same word. [root]203. See pref. {Be }.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • By the stern — Stern Stern, n. [Icel. stj[=o]rn a steering, or a doubtful AS. ste[ o]rn. [root]166. See {Steer}, v. t.] 1. The helm or tiller of a vessel or boat; also, the rudder. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. (Naut.) The after or rear end of a ship or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • By the rood — Rood Rood (r[=oo]d), n. [AS. r[=o]d a cross; akin to OS. r[=o]da, D. roede rod, G. ruthe, rute, OHG. ruota. Cf. {Rod} a measure.] 1. A representation in sculpture or in painting of the cross with Christ hanging on it. [1913 Webster] Note:… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • By the eye — Eye Eye ([imac]), n. [OE. eghe, eighe, eie, eye, AS. e[ a]ge; akin to OFries. [=a]ge, OS. [=o]ga, D. oog, Ohg. ouga, G. auge, Icel. auga, Sw. [ o]ga, Dan. [ o]ie, Goth. aug[=o]; cf. OSlav. oko, Lith. akis, L. okulus, Gr. o kkos, eye, o sse, the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Over the head of — Head Head (h[e^]d), n. [OE. hed, heved, heaved, AS. he[ a]fod; akin to D. hoofd, OHG. houbit, G. haupt, Icel. h[ o]fu[eth], Sw. hufvud, Dan. hoved, Goth. haubi[thorn]. The word does not correspond regularly to L. caput head (cf. E. {Chief},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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