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 752825175:
      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.
  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