by numbers

by numbers

Exactly as the rules, directions, or plans dictate. Primarily heard in UK. If we all focus and do this by numbers, then we should have no trouble getting it finished. The military strike was executed perfectly and by numbers.
See also: number
References in classic literature ?
An exceeding fierce battle immediately began, for about fifteen minutes, when we, being over-powered by numbers, were obliged to retreat, with the loss of sixty-seven men; seven of whom were taken prisoners.
Some, though, are known by numbers, which also seem inadequate distinctions.
The idea is to divide by numbers smaller than the given number to look for a particular set of remainders.