by the numbers


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by the numbers

Exactly as the rules, directions, or plans dictate. If we all focus and do this by the numbers, then we should have no trouble getting it finished. The military strike was executed perfectly and by the numbers.
See also: number

by the numbers

In a strict sequence, step-by-step; also, mechanically. For example, The only way to assemble this computer is to do it by the numbers, or Writing a novel is not something one can do by the numbers. This expression has nothing to do with actual numerical figures (like by the dozen) but uses numbers in the sense of a strict order or sequence.
See also: number

by the numbers

1. In unison as numbers are called out by a leader: performing calisthenics by the numbers.
2. In a strict, step-by-step or mechanical way.
See also: number