by way of

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Phrase[edit]

by way of

  1. By the route of; through; via.
    • 1895, Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native, ch. 1:
      Intensity was more usually reached by way of the solemn than by way of the brilliant.
    • 1914, H. H. Munro, "The Boar-Pig" in Beasts and Super-Beasts:
      "I always go over the wall, by way of the plum tree," said Matilda.
    From Shakespeare to Milton by way of the English Bible, our language has been shaped by humanist ideas.
  2. For the purpose of; as a means, instance, type or form of.
    • 1731, Jonathan Swift, "On the Death of Dr. Swift":
      Thus much may serve by way of proem:
      Proceed we therefore to our poem.
    • 1849, Edgar Allan Poe, "Hop-Frog":
      Why they hesitated I never could tell, unless they did it by way of a joke.
    By way of apology, he tried to be gallant.
  3. (UK, often followed by being) Possessing the characteristics, nature, or standing of; in the state or condition of.
    • 1898, H. G. Wells, "The Trouble of Life" in Certain Personal Matters:
      Thoreau, too, come to think of it, was, by way of being a prophet, a pioneer in this Emancipation of Man from Bothery.
    • 1921, P. G. Wodehouse, "Jeeves in the Springtime":
      "From what you tell me, he's by way of being the brains of the family."

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