by the book

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by the book

In accordance with rules or regulations. If you're looking for someone to approve an exception, don't go to Ted—he does everything by the book.
See also: book, by

*by the book

 and *by the numbers
following the rules exactly. (Alludes to a (numbered) book of rules. *Typically: go ~; do something ~; play ~; run something~.) The judge of the contest ran things strictly by the rules and disqualified us on a small technicality. Everyone insisted that we go by the numbers and not accept the proposal.
See also: book, by

by the book

Strictly according to the rules, as in Our trip leader is going by the book, allowing us to wander off only for short periods. Shakespeare already used the term figuratively in Romeo and Juliet (1:5): "You kiss by the book." Also see by the numbers.
See also: book, by

by the book

strictly according to the rules.
See also: book, by

by the ˈbook

strictly following the rules or the official way of doing something: He insists on doing everything by the book.
See also: book, by

by the book

Very correctly, in strict accordance with the rules. Book in this expression is a set of established rules or, originally, of moral or religious precepts. Edgar Allan Poe was writing of the card game whist when he said, “To have a retentive memory, and to proceed ‘by the book,’ are points commonly regarded as the sum total of good playing” (“The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” 1841). A somewhat newer synonym is to play by the rules.
See also: book, by
References in periodicals archive ?
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz decided to go by the book while dealing with the issue of deleting Musharraf's name from the exit control list (ECL), the Nation reports.
So do it straight, go by the book Remember how it all should look.
For the record, and for those who still like to go by the book, American Heritage III says of factoid, "Unverified or inaccurate information that is presented in the press as factual, often as part of a publicity effort, and that is then accepted as true because of constant repetition .