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Variant of by-.
n. Also, by.
1. (in a tournament) the preferential status of a player or team not paired with a competitor in an early round and thus automatically advanced to play in the next round.
2. something subsidiary or secondary.adj.
3. by 1.Idioms:
by the bye, by the way; incidentally.
[1710–20; variant sp. of by1 in its n. sense “side way”]
var. of by-: bye-election.