Definition of get by in US English:

get by

phrasal verb

  • Manage with difficulty to live or accomplish something.

    ‘he had just enough money to get by’
    • ‘As a twentysomething student living at home in Dublin, he could get by on little money.’
    • ‘How on earth do we get by, living, as we do, amid the exhausted projects of modernity?’
    • ‘We knew it would be a difficult season, and basically we did enough to get by.’
    • ‘He's somehow managed to get by without being eliminated, but his number looks likely to be up very soon.’
    • ‘While some have taken Korean classes and have done quite well, others have plodded along getting by with a litany of stock phrases and vocabulary.’
    • ‘When he couldn't cope, he simply locked his house and came here with his wife and four daughters hoping to make some money instead of just getting by.’
    • ‘He is grateful for the company but it will be difficult to get by without his family.’
    • ‘They leave these matters to others and get by somehow, often living from hand to mouth, day to day.’
    • ‘Well, people got by through various technical loopholes.’
    • ‘I'd cleaned the house thoroughly early in the day and Dolly and I had managed to get by with only minimal mess.’
    manage, cope, survive, exist, subsist, muddle along, muddle through, scrape along, scrape by, scrape through, make ends meet, get on, get along, make do, barely have enough to live on, scarcely have enough to live on, keep the wolf from the door, keep one's head above water, scrimp, scrape a living
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