Synonyms of by in English:


See definition of by


1‘he was arrested by the police’


through the agency of, by means of, under the aegis of, using, utilizing, employing, with the help of, with the aid of, as a result of, because of, by dint of, by way of, by virtue of, via, through

2‘please be there by midday’


no later than, in good time for, at, before

3‘the house by the lake’


next to, beside, next door to, alongside, at the side of, by the side of, abreast of, adjacent to, cheek by jowl with, side by side with

near, close to, hard by, nearest to, neighbouring, adjoining, abutting, bordering, overlooking

connected to, connecting with, contiguous with, attached to

4‘go by the building’


past, in front of, beyond

5‘anything you do is all right by me’


according to, with, as far as … is concerned, concerning


1‘people hurried by’


past, on, along, beyond


    by all means

      ‘take your grandmother to see it by all means but she might not thank you for it!’


      certainly, indeed, of course, definitely, without doubt, without a doubt, without question, unquestionably



      of course, certainly, definitely, surely, absolutely, naturally, with pleasure, assuredly

      North American informal

      sure thing

    by and large

      ‘by and large, all of the chapters follow the same format’


      largely, mostly, mainly, to a large extent, to a great extent, to a great degree, on the whole, chiefly, generally, in general, predominantly, substantially, primarily, overall, for the most part, in the main, principally, in great measure, preponderantly, first and foremost, for all intents and purposes, basically

      usually, typically, commonly

      ‘the children, by and large, treated him well’


      on the whole, generally, in general, altogether, all things considered, all in all, taking everything into consideration, for the most part, in the main, as a rule, overall, usually, normally, ordinarily, almost always, customarily, habitually, typically, mainly, mostly, basically, chiefly, predominantly, principally, substantially

      on average, in most cases, on balance, to all intents and purposes

    by oneself

      1‘reading by oneself was encouraged only when it was raining’


      alone, all alone, on one's own, in a solitary state, singly, separately, solitarily, unaccompanied, companionless, partnerless, unattended, unescorted, unchaperoned, solo


      by one's lonesome

      British informal

      on one's tod, on one's lonesome, on one's jack, on one's Jack Jones

      2‘there is no possibility of creating anything either by oneself or in conjunction with others’


      unaided, unassisted, without help, without assistance, by one's own efforts, under one's own steam, independently, single-handed, single-handedly, solo, on one's own, alone, all alone, off one's own bat, on one's own initiative

    by and by

      ‘by and by you will learn the ropes’


      eventually, ultimately, finally, in the end, as time goes by, as time goes on, one day, some day, sooner or later, in time, in a while, after a bit, in the long run, in the fullness of time, at a later time, at a later date, at length, at a future date, at a future time, at some point in the future, in the future, in time to come, in due course