by the by

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Alternative forms[edit]

Prepositional phrase[edit]

by the by

  1. Used to introduce a new topic; incidentally, by the way.
    • 1892, George Grossmith; Weedon Grossmith, chapter 1, in The Diary of a Nobody:
      She could not get it open, and after all my display, I had to take the Curate (whose name, by-the-by, I did not catch) round the side entrance.
    • 1893, William Morris, The Ideal Book[1]:
      Well, I lay it down, first, that a book quite unornamented can look actually and positively beautiful, and not merely un-ugly, if it be, so to say, architecturally good, which, by the by, need not add much to its price []



by the by (comparative more by the by, superlative most by the by)

  1. Incidental; unplanned.
    Synonyms: accidental, causeless, random; see also Thesaurus:accidental
    • 1990, Susan Sherman, The color of the heart: writing from struggle & change, 1959-1990:
      These sudden rains. Not tropical - with lightning, thunder, great release after hours of tension. But more nonchalant, more "by-the-by." As if the clouds, rushing to get somewhere else, were to drop some rain in passing.

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