Definition of by numbers in US English:

by numbers

phrase

  • Following simple instructions identified or as if identified by numbers.

    ‘painting by numbers’
    • ‘It is 15 years since his critically-acclaimed debut, Let Love Rule, and Kravitz has headed straight for the comfort zone with another of his CDs by numbers.’
    • ‘There may have been a certain critical backlash to this by those who assumed it was Hollywood trying to do Bollywood by numbers, but The Guru didn't have aspirations nearly as high as that.’
    • ‘You can see this big drama up in the first five seconds, then this, then that, then that, so it's writing by numbers, making films by numbers and I think a lot of books are posited on the same kit.’
    • ‘Does it at times feel like Woody Allen by numbers?’
    • ‘Join the dots, colour by numbers - it's not like that, is it?’
    • ‘REM - when did they start just doing REM by numbers?’
    • ‘‘It's politics by numbers,’ says one strategist, for Conservatives to try to drive up the salience of an issue where they're out front.’
    • ‘It is like making artists paint by numbers or a songwriter use the same four chords in the same order for every song (like Coldplay or Stereophonics).’
    • ‘It is one of those variations of painting by numbers where figures are human years and the colors are usually photographs.’
    • ‘With subtlety off the menu and with little variation in tempo, all the better for head-banging, it was Maiden by numbers, but great for singing along to.’