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come by (some place)
to stop some place for a visit. Can you come by our place for a few minutes on the way home? Please come by sometime.
come by something
1. Lit. to travel by a specific means, such as a plane, a boat, or a car. We came by train. It's more relaxing. Next time, we'll come by plane. It's faster.
2. Fig. to find or get something. How did you come by that haircut? Where did you come by that new shirt?
come by something honestly
1. Fig. to get something honestly. (See also come by something.) Don't worry. I came by this Swiss watch honestly. I have a feeling she didn't come by it honestly.
2. Fig. to inherit something—such as a character trait-from one's parents. I know I'm mean. I came by it honestly, though. She came by her kindness honestly.
come by (something)
1. to obtain money, wealth, or goods Mitchell had acquired some wealth, although whether he came by it honestly or dishonestly is not clear.
Usage notes: often used in the form hard to come by: Fresh meat and fish were hard to come by.
2. to learn a skill I had to work hard to learn to skate. I didn't come by it easily.
1. Acquire, obtain, as in A good assistant is hard to come by. This usage, dating from about 1600, superseded the earlier sense of acquiring something with considerable effort. A variant is come by honestly, meaning "to obtain in some honorable or logical way." For example, I'm sure she didn't come by that large bonus honestly or He does have an unusual gait but he came by it honestly; his father's is the same.
2. Stop in, visit, as in Please come by whenever you're in the neighborhood. [Late 1800s]
1. To visit someone: I told them to come by for dinner some evening.
2. To pass into a region: A nice breeze came by and the campers felt cooler.
3. To gain possession of something; acquire something: We don't know how our neighbor came by all that money.
4. To find something: Really good movies are hard to come by.