by - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “by”

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by

preposition  us   /bɑɪ/

by preposition (CAUSE)

used to show the person or thing that causes something to happen or to exist: The car was driven by a short, bald man. I’m reading some short stories by Chekhov. I took her umbrella by mistake.

by preposition (METHOD)

used to show how something is done: They thought about flying to Boston but decided to go by car. She did the repair work by herself (= without help). Do you want to be paid in cash or by check? He learned English by listening to the radio.

by preposition (ACCORDING TO)

according to: By my watch, it’s 2 o’clock. The students were listed by name.

by preposition (NOT LATER THAN)

not later than; at or before: She promised to be back by 10 p.m.

by preposition (MEASUREMENT)

used to show measurements or amounts: Their wages increased by 12%. The room measures 15 feet by 20 feet.

by preposition (DURING)

during: We traveled by night and rested by day.

by

preposition, adverb [not gradable]  us   /bɑɪ/

by preposition, adverb [not gradable] (NEAR)

near, beside, or (in distance or time) past: A small child stood quietly by her side. Claire waved as she drove by. As time went by, she became more attached to him.
(Definition of by from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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