By vs. Near

By Jaxson

  • By (preposition)

    Near or next to.

    “The mailbox is by the bus stop.”

  • By (preposition)

    At some time before (the given time), or before the end of a given time interval.

    “Be back by ten o’clock!”

    “We will send it by the first week of July.”

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates the actor in a clause with its verb in the passive voice: Through the action or presence of.

    “The matter was decided by the chairman.”

    “The boat was swamped by the water.”

    “He was protected by his body armour.”

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates the creator of a work: Existing through the authorship etc. of.

    “There are many well-known plays by William Shakespeare”

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates the cause of a condition or event: Through the action of, caused by, responsibility for; by dint of.

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates a means: Involving/using the means of.

    “I avoided the guards by moving only when they weren’t looking.”

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates a source of light used as illumination.

    “The electricity was cut off, so we had to read by candlelight.”

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates an authority, rule, or permission followed.

    “I sorted the items by category.”

    “By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife.”

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates the amount of some progression: With a change of.

    “Our stock is up by ten percent.”

  • By (preposition)

    In the formulae X by X and by Xs, indicates a steady progression, one X after another.

    “We went through the book page by page.”

    “We crawled forward by inches.”

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates a referenced source: According to.

    “He cheated by his own admission.”

  • By (preposition)

    Indicates an oath: With the authority of.

    “By Jove! I think she’s got it!”

    “By all that is holy, I’ll put an end to this.”

  • By (preposition)

    Used to separate dimensions when describing the size of something.

    “It is easy to invert a 2-by-2 matrix.”

    “The room was about 4 foot by 6 foot.”

    “The bricks used to build the wall measured 10 by 20 by 30 cm.”

  • By (preposition)

    Designates a horse’s male parent (sire); cf. out of.

    “She’s a lovely little filly, by Big Lad, out of Damsel in Distress.”

  • By (adverb)

    Along a path which runs by the speaker.

    “I watched as it passed by.”

  • By (adverb)

    In the vicinity, near.

    “There was a shepherd close by.”

    “The shop is hard by the High Street.”

  • By (adverb)

    To or at a place, as a residence or place of business.

    “I’ll stop by on my way home from work.”

    “We’re right near the lifeguard station. Come by before you leave.”

  • By (adverb)

    Aside, away.

    “The women spent much time after harvest putting jams by for winter and spring.”

  • By (adjective)

    Out of the way, subsidiary.

  • By (noun)

    A pass

  • By (interjection)

    alternative spelling of bye

  • Near (adjective)

    Physically close.

  • Near (adjective)

    Closely connected or related.

  • Near (adjective)

    Close to one’s interests, affection, etc.; intimate; dear.

    “a near friend”

  • Near (adjective)

    Close to anything followed or imitated; not free, loose, or rambling.

    “a version near to the original”

  • Near (adjective)

    So as barely to avoid or pass injury or loss; close; narrow.

    “a near escape”

  • Near (adjective)


    “The end is near.”

  • Near (adjective)

    Approximate, almost.

    “The two words are near synonyms.”

  • Near (adjective)

    On the side nearest to the kerb (the left-hand side if one drives on the left).

    “The near front wheel came loose.”


  • Near (adjective)

    Next to the driver, when he is on foot; on the left of an animal or a team.

    “the near ox; the near leg”

  • Near (adjective)

    Immediate; direct; close; short.

  • Near (adjective)

    Stingy; parsimonious.

  • Near (adverb)

    Having a small intervening distance with regard to something.

    “I’m near-sighted.”

  • Near (adverb)


  • Near (preposition)

    Close to, in close proximity to.

    “There are habitable planets orbiting many of the stars near our Sun.”

  • Near (preposition)

    Close to in time.

    “The voyage was near completion.”

  • By (preposition)

    identifying the agent performing an action.

  • By (preposition)

    after a passive verb

    “damage caused by fire”

    “the door was opened by my cousin Annie”

  • By (preposition)

    after a noun denoting an action

    “years of hard fund-raising work by local people”

    “a clear decision by the electorate”

  • By (preposition)

    identifying the author of a text, idea, or work of art

    “a book by Ernest Hemingway”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating the means of achieving something

    “they substantiate their opinions by the use of precise textual reference”

    “they plan to provide further working capital by means of borrowing”

    “malaria can be controlled by attacking the parasite”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating a term to which an interpretation is to be assigned

    “what is meant by ‘fair’?”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating a name according to which a person is known

    “she mostly calls me by my last name”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating the means of transport selected for a journey

    “the cost of travelling by bus”

    “I travelled to Folkestone by rail”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating the other parent of someone’s child or children

    “Richard is his son by his third wife”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating the sire of a pedigree animal, especially a horse

    “a black filly by Goldfuerst”

  • By (preposition)

    (followed by a noun without a determiner) in various phrases indicating how something happens

    “I heard by chance that she has married again”

    “she ate by candlelight”

    “Anderson, by contrast, rejects this view”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating the amount or size of a margin

    “the raising of VAT by 2.5%”

    “the shot missed her by miles”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating a quantity or amount

    “billing is by the minute”

    “the drunken yobbos who turned up by the cartload”

  • By (preposition)

    in phrases indicating something happening repeatedly or progressively, typically with repetition of a unit of time

    “colours changing minute by minute”

    “the risk becomes worse by the day”

  • By (preposition)

    identifying a parameter

    “a breakdown of employment figures by age and occupation”

  • By (preposition)

    expressing multiplication, especially in dimensions

    “she multiplied it by 89”

    “a map measuring 400 by 600 mm”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating a deadline or the end of a particular time period

    “by now Kelly needed extensive physiotherapy”

    “I’ve got to do this report by Monday”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating location of a physical object beside a place or object

    “remains were discovered by the roadside”

    “the pram was by the dresser”

  • By (preposition)

    past and beyond

    “I drove by our house”

  • By (preposition)

    indicating the period in which something happens

    “this animal always hunts by night”

  • By (preposition)

    concerning; according to

    “she had done her duty by him”

    “anything you do is all right by me”

  • By (preposition)

    used in mild oaths

    “it was the least he could do, by God”

    “I swear by Almighty God”

  • By (adverb)

    so as to go past

    “a car flashed by on the other side of the road”

    “he let only a moment go by”

  • By (noun)

    variant spelling of bye

Oxford Dictionary

Leave a Comment