Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.
1. To physically pass by someone or something. Have you seen Liz go by here? She's not in her office.
2. To be known by a certain name. His full name is Richard, but he goes by Rich.
3. To pass by, as of time. Ugh, time goes by so slowly when I'm in math class.
4. To pass by without being acted upon, as of a particular chance or opportunity. You shouldn't let this great opportunity go by just because you're mad at your sister.
5. To base an opinion or analysis on a specific piece of information, which is stated after "by." I can only go by the details she gives me, but I have a feeling I'm not getting the whole story. What features do you go by when picking out a car?
6. To visit some place briefly; to stop by. I'll go by the pizza place and pick up dinner on the way home.
A slight, snub, or rebuff. Man, none of these pedestrians will stop and talk to me—I keep getting the go-by.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
go by (someone or something)
to pass by someone or something. We went by Alice without even noticing her. We went by because we were in a hurry.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Elapse, pass, as in the popular song, "As Time Goes By" (by Herman Hupfeld, 1931), or He just went by our house. [c. 1600]
2. Ignore, fail to notice or take advantage of, as in You shouldn't let this opportunity go by. [Early 1500s] For the related go by the board, see by the board.
3. Rely on, believe, as in I'm going by the numbers on this list, or We'll have to go by what she tells us.
4. go by the name of. Be known by or use a specific name. For example, She continued to go by her maiden name, Mary Smith. [Late 1500s]
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.
1. To approach someone or something and then move past; pass something: I could smell the fresh bread as we went by the bakery. The goalie stumbled, and the ball went right by her. We sat near the window so that we could watch the people going by on the sidewalk.
2. To elapse; pass. Used of periods of time: Time goes by quickly if you're busy. Three years have gone by since we last spoke to each other.
3. To pay a short visit to some place: On my way to work, I went by the post office to mail a package. My parents were not at home when we went by last week.
4. To make a judgment or proceed on the basis of some property or observation: When I'm choosing a pair of boots, I go by quality and price, not the way they look. If you want to play this game with us, you must go by the rules. Should we go by the recipe in the cookbook or the recipe on the package? They have a good chance of winning the tournament, if their performance in the last few games is something to go by.
5. To be known as having some name: My real name is Theodore, but I also go by "Teddy."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.