by and by


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by and by

1. adverb After a short and/or undetermined period of time. The rain poured down in a torrent, but by and by, the clouds thinned and the sun eventually came out again.
2. noun The unknown future, especially heaven or the afterlife (often preceded by "sweet"). Usually hyphenated. I miss your grandmother too, but I know I'll see her again in the sweet by-and-by.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

by and by

at some time in the future; as time passes. The weather's sure to clear up by and by. You may think your heart is broken, but you'll feel better by and by.
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McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

by and by

After a while, soon, as in She'll be along by and by. The expression probably relies on the meaning of by as a succession of quantities (as in "two by two"). This adverbial phrase came to be used as a noun, denoting either procrastination or the future. William Camden so used it for the former ( Remains, 1605): "Two anons and a by and by is an hour and a half." And W.S. Gilbert used it in the latter sense when Lady Jane sings plaintively that little will be left of her "in the coming by and by," that is, as she grows old ( Patience, 1881). [Early 1500s]
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The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

by and ˈby

(old-fashioned) after a little time; soon: Things will be better by and by.
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Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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