come by

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come by (third-person singular simple present comes by, present participle coming by, simple past came by, past participle come by)

  1. (transitive) To obtain; to get, especially by chance or involuntarily.
    A loyal friend is hard to come by.
    Somehow he came by a substantial fortune.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
      They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly. Otherwise his pelt would not have been so perfect. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?—and so magnificent a brush as he had too.
    • 2023 August 23, Chris Howe, “Green screen: HS2's route through the shires”, in RAIL, number 990, page 35:
      For example, during the early days of construction, some landowners and local residents felt they were not being kept up to date with what was happening on a day-to-day basis, or that information wasn't always easy to come by.
  2. (intransitive) To come near to; to pass; to visit.
    Your beau came by while you were shopping.



come by

  1. A command to a sheepdog to move clockwise around the sheep