Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

come by

1. To obtain or acquire. Steady work is hard to come by in this economy. I struggle with math, but my sister comes by it easily, of course.
2. To visit a place. Jenny came by the house earlier, looking for you. I'm so happy that you're living in our neighborhood now—come by whenever you want!
3. To travel by a particular mode of transportation. Oh, I came by train because I hate driving into the city.
4. To enter or pass through a particular area or place. I felt my mood lift once some sunshine came by and replaced the clouds.
See also: by, come

come by (something) honestly

1. To obtain something without deception or other nefarious behavior. Are you sure he came by that expensive handbag honestly?
2. To inherit something, usually a trait from one's parent. She came by her compassion honestly, as her mother was the exact same way.
See also: by, come, honestly

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.
See also: by, come

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?
See also: by, come

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.
See also: by, come, honestly

come by

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 This usage, dating from about 1600, superseded the earlier sense of acquiring something with considerable effort.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]
See also: by, come

come by

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.
See also: by, come
References in periodicals archive ?
If we can't honestly take a look at reality, the truth of our lives, then God help us.
There is no provision in this instruction which would permit a penitent to `be safely assured that whoever honestly chooses that course that seems right to him does so in good conscience' within the meaning of paragraph 26 of the Winnipeg Statement.
He said that these officials should instead perform their duty honestly and cooperate with the seniors to provide best services to the people.
Honestly, think you cleaner' mind cleaner' After ditching her "cartoon character" look last year and parting ways with her fashion man Karl Willett, she has turned to DIY diva dressing.
I honestly just felt so low I thought in death I'd find a safer happier place.
I don't think that anybody who takes a ceremonial sword to the head of a police officer can honestly find anywhere more suitable to be than in prison.
Do you honestly think that people who are entitled to benefits and due to the present economic situation cannot find employment, should be out clearing the snow off the streets and pavements?
I can honestly say on my show, I admit it: I am homophobic.
As presiding bishop of the whole church it was important for me to make sure that I, along with my colleagues, sought honestly to represent the breadth of views and the depth of feeling that exists in different parts of our household," said Bishop Griswold in a statement.
Fort Wayne is a town / named honestly for that general, 'Mad" Anthony Wayne.
FEWER than four in 10 workers in the UK feel they can trust their bosses to communicate honestly, according to a new survey.
The confectionery heiress followed the Honestly Healthy alkaline 3-day cleanse to ensure she looked great at the big event.