Definition of come by in English:

come by

phrasal verb

  • 1North American Call casually and briefly as a visitor.

    ‘his friends came by’
    ‘she came by the house’
    • ‘A young priest and family friend, Patrick, came by regularly to offer John and his family spiritual and moral support.’
    • ‘So, I mean, the last time I saw her was in October when she came by the house and appeared to be pregnant.’
    • ‘A friend from church comes by each Friday morning and takes me.’
    • ‘He said, ‘I'll hang around here until my friend comes by.’’
    • ‘This one time my friends were all coming by and they were partying, and there were all these rollerbladers at the park.’
    • ‘What if one of my kid's friends comes by without an appointment?’
    • ‘Planning for the wedding was dull for the first hour, and then family members and friends came by.’
    • ‘We have lots of family and friends coming by; my brother and I stayed at my Mum's house for much of that time.’
    • ‘Meantime, neighbors, friends and supporters came by the house to drop notes and flowers.’
    • ‘So when you feel hot, you take a shower and when a friend comes by to visit, you wrap a towel around your waist and watch TV with them.’
  • 2Manage to acquire or obtain (something)

    ‘the remoteness of the region makes accurate information hard to come by’
    • ‘Not only are some of these operating as local businesses, they are also bringing jobs and wealth to areas that find both hard to come by.’
    • ‘There's a gripping tension to it that's hard to come by in comics designed to be all-ages entertainment.’
    • ‘Fairytales are hard to come by, especially in New York these days, but the gift of hope brings a magic of its own.’
    • ‘She took some art materials for the children, knowing that they are hard to come by in the detention centres.’
    • ‘He had been playing the flute for some time when he realized that high quality flute repairmen were hard to come by.’
    • ‘The precise details of such disputes usually are hard to come by.’
    • ‘Apprenticeships were hard to come by and for most of his classmates the only work available was in England.’
    • ‘Bear in mind that good managers are hard to come by.’
    • ‘Apparently good knife-grade steel was hard to come by, and I had some of the best.’
    • ‘The sides were well matched and with good defending and sharp goal keepers on both sides scores were hard to come by.’
    obtain, acquire, gain, get, find, pick up, lay hold of, possess oneself of, come to have, procure, secure, get possession of
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