Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “go by the book/do sth by the book”

go by the book/do sth by the book

C2 to do something exactly as the rules tell you: My lawyer always goes strictly by the book. This is a private deal - we don't have to do everything by the book.Morality and rules of behaviourRules and lawsObeying and breaking the lawObedient and compliantDisobedientBad and wrong behaviour
(Definition of go by the book/do sth by the book from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Obeying & breaking the law, but you might be interested in these topics from the Law and the police topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Translations of “go by the book/do sth by the book”

Word of the Day

beer mat

a small piece of cardboard that you put under a glass to protect a table surface in a pub or bar

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More