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go by - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theygo by
he/she/itgoes by
present participlegoing by
past tensewent by
past participlegone by
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] if time goes by, it passes
    Last month went by so fast.
  2. 2
    [transitive]go by something to accept what someone or something says when you are deciding what to do or think
    Going by what Tim said, we should be there by mid-afternoon.
    go by the book (=obey rules without considering whether they are right): Police officers protect themselves from criticism by going by the book.
    1. a.
      [transitive]go by something to base an opinion on something
      go by appearances: It’s never very wise to go by appearances.
  3. 3
    [transitive]go by something to use a particular name for yourself that is not your real name
    When I knew her, she used to go by the name of Ricki.
  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive]go by something to move past a place or stop there for a short time during a journey
    I went by the post office on the way home.
See also main entry: go


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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