by the way

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Way \Way\, n. [OE. wey, way, AS. weg; akin to OS., D., OHG., &
   G. weg, Icel. vegr, Sw. v[aum]g, Dan. vei, Goth. wigs, L.
   via, and AS. wegan to move, L. vehere to carry, Skr. vah.
   [root]136. Cf. Convex, Inveigh, Vehicle, Vex, Via,
   Voyage, Wag, Wagon, Wee, Weigh.]
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   1. That by, upon, or along, which one passes or processes;
      opportunity or room to pass; place of passing; passage;
      road, street, track, or path of any kind; as, they built a
      way to the mine. "To find the way to heaven." --Shak.
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            I shall him seek by way and eke by street.
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            The way seems difficult, and steep to scale.
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            The season and ways were very improper for his
            majesty's forces to march so great a distance.
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   2. Length of space; distance; interval; as, a great way; a
      long way.
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            And whenever the way seemed long,
            Or his heart began to fail.           --Longfellow.
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   3. A moving; passage; procession; journey.
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            I prythee, now, lead the way.         --Shak.
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   4. Course or direction of motion or process; tendency of
      action; advance.
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            If that way be your walk, you have not far.
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            And let eternal justice take the way. --Dryden.
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   5. The means by which anything is reached, or anything is
      accomplished; scheme; device; plan.
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            My best way is to creep under his gaberdine. --Shak.
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            By noble ways we conquest will prepare. --Dryden.
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            What impious ways my wishes took!     --Prior.
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   6. Manner; method; mode; fashion; style; as, the way of
      expressing one's ideas.
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   7. Regular course; habitual method of life or action; plan of
      conduct; mode of dealing. "Having lost the way of
      nobleness." --Sir. P. Sidney.
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            Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths
            are peace.                            --Prov. iii.
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            When men lived in a grander way.      --Longfellow.
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   8. Sphere or scope of observation. --Jer. Taylor.
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            The public ministers that fell in my way. --Sir W.
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   9. Determined course; resolved mode of action or conduct; as,
      to have one's way.
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   10. (Naut.)
       (a) Progress; as, a ship has way.
       (b) pl. The timbers on which a ship is launched.
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   11. pl. (Mach.) The longitudinal guides, or guiding surfaces,
       on the bed of a planer, lathe, or the like, along which a
       table or carriage moves.
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   12. (Law) Right of way. See below.
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   By the way, in passing; apropos; aside; apart from, though
      connected with, the main object or subject of discourse.

   By way of, for the purpose of; as being; in character of.

   Covert way. (Fort.) See Covered way, under Covered.

   In the family way. See under Family.

   In the way, so as to meet, fall in with, obstruct, hinder,

   In the way with, traveling or going with; meeting or being
      with; in the presence of.

   Milky way. (Astron.) See Galaxy, 1.

   No way, No ways. See Noway, Noways, in the

   On the way, traveling or going; hence, in process;
      advancing toward completion; as, on the way to this
      country; on the way to success.

   Out of the way. See under Out.

   Right of way (Law), a right of private passage over
      another's ground. It may arise either by grant or
      prescription. It may be attached to a house, entry, gate,
      well, or city lot, as well as to a country farm. --Kent.

   To be under way, or To have way (Naut.), to be in motion,
      as when a ship begins to move.

   To give way. See under Give.

   To go one's way, or To come one's way, to go or come; to
      depart or come along. --Shak.

   To go one's way to proceed in a manner favorable to one; --
      of events.

   To come one's way to come into one's possession (of
      objects) or to become available, as an opportunity; as,
      good things will come your way.

   To go the way of all the earth or

   to go the way of all flesh to die.

   To make one's way, to advance in life by one's personal

   To make way. See under Make, v. t.

   Ways and means.
       (a) Methods; resources; facilities.
       (b) (Legislation) Means for raising money; resources for

   Way leave, permission to cross, or a right of way across,
      land; also, rent paid for such right. [Eng]

   Way of the cross (Eccl.), the course taken in visiting in
      rotation the stations of the cross. See Station, n., 7
       (c) .

   Way of the rounds (Fort.), a space left for the passage of
      the rounds between a rampart and the wall of a fortified

   Way pane, a pane for cartage in irrigated land. See Pane,
      n., 4. [Prov. Eng.]

   Way passenger, a passenger taken up, or set down, at some
      intermediate place between the principal stations on a
      line of travel.

   Ways of God, his providential government, or his works.

   Way station, an intermediate station between principal
      stations on a line of travel, especially on a railroad.

   Way train, a train which stops at the intermediate, or way,
      stations; an accommodation train.

   Way warden, the surveyor of a road.
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   Syn: Street; highway; road.

   Usage: Way, Street, Highway, Road. Way is generic,
          denoting any line for passage or conveyance; a highway
          is literally one raised for the sake of dryness and
          convenience in traveling; a road is, strictly, a way
          for horses and carriages; a street is, etymologically,
          a paved way, as early made in towns and cities; and,
          hence, the word is distinctively applied to roads or
          highways in compact settlements.
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                All keep the broad highway, and take delight
                With many rather for to go astray. --Spenser.
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                There is but one road by which to climb up.
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                When night
                Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
                Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

By \By\ (b[imac]), prep. [OE. bi, AS. b[imac], big, near to, by,
   of, from, after, according to; akin to OS. & OFries. bi, be,
   D. bij, OHG. b[imac], G. bei, Goth. bi, and perh. Gr. 'amfi`.
   E. prefix be- is orig. the same word. [root]203. See pref.
   1. In the neighborhood of; near or next to; not far from;
      close to; along with; as, come and sit by me.
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            By foundation or by shady rivulet
            He sought them both.                  --Milton.
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   2. On; along; in traversing. Compare 5.
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            Long labors both by sea and land he bore. --Dryden.
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            By land, by water, they renew the charge. --Pope.
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   3. Near to, while passing; hence, from one to the other side
      of; past; as, to go by a church.
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   4. Used in specifying adjacent dimensions; as, a cabin twenty
      feet by forty.
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   5. Against. [Obs.] --Tyndale [1. Cor. iv. 4].
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   6. With, as means, way, process, etc.; through means of; with
      aid of; through; through the act or agency of; as, a city
      is destroyed by fire; profit is made by commerce; to take
      by force.
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   Note: To the meaning of by, as denoting means or agency,
         belong, more or less closely, most of the following
         uses of the word:
      (a) It points out the author and producer; as, "Waverley",
          a novel by Sir W.Scott; a statue by Canova; a sonata
          by Beethoven.
      (b) In an oath or adjuration, it indicates the being or
          thing appealed to as sanction; as, I affirm to you by
          all that is sacred; he swears by his faith as a
          Christian; no, by Heaven.
      (c) According to; by direction, authority, or example of;
          after; -- in such phrases as, it appears by his
          account; ten o'clock by my watch; to live by rule; a
          model to build by.
      (d) At the rate of; according to the ratio or proportion
          of; in the measure or quantity of; as, to sell cloth
          by the yard, milk by the quart, eggs by the dozen,
          meat by the pound; to board by the year.
      (e) In comparison, it denotes the measure of excess or
          deficiency; when anything is increased or diminished,
          it indicates the measure of increase or diminution;
          as, larger by a half; older by five years; to lessen
          by a third.
      (f) It expresses continuance or duration; during the
          course of; within the period of; as, by day, by night.
      (g) As soon as; not later than; near or at; -- used in
          expressions of time; as, by this time the sun had
          risen; he will be here by two o'clock.
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   Note: In boxing the compass, by indicates a pint nearer to,
         or towards, the next cardinal point; as, north by east,
         i.e., a point towards the east from the north;
         northeast by east, i.e., on point nearer the east than
         northeast is.
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   Note: With is used instead of by before the instrument with
         which anything is done; as, to beat one with a stick;
         the board was fastened by the carpenter with nails. But
         there are many words which may be regarded as means or
         processes, or, figuratively, as instruments; and
         whether with or by shall be used with them is a matter
         of arbitrary, and often, of unsettled usage; as, to a
         reduce a town by famine; to consume stubble with fire;
         he gained his purpose by flattery; he entertained them
         with a story; he distressed us with or by a recital of
         his sufferings. see With.
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   By all means, most assuredly; without fail; certainly.

   By and by.
      (a) Close together (of place). [Obs.] "Two yonge knightes
          liggyng [lying] by and by." --Chaucer.
      (b) Immediately; at once. [Obs.] "When . . . persecution
          ariseth because of the word, by and by he is
          offended." --Matt. xiii. 21.
      (c) Presently; pretty soon; before long.

   Note: In this phrase, by seems to be used in the sense of
         nearness in time, and to be repeated for the sake of
         emphasis, and thus to be equivalent to "soon, and
         soon," that is instantly; hence, -- less emphatically,
         -- pretty soon, presently.

   By one's self, with only one's self near; alone; solitary.

   By the bye. See under Bye.

   By the head (Naut.), having the bows lower than the stern;
      -- said of a vessel when her head is lower in the water
      than her stern. If her stern is lower, she is by the

   By the lee, the situation of a vessel, going free, when she
      has fallen off so much as to bring the wind round her
      stern, and to take her sails aback on the other side.

   By the run, to let go by the run, to let go altogether,
      instead of slacking off.

   By the way, by the bye; -- used to introduce an incidental
      or secondary remark or subject. 

   Day by day, One by one, Piece by piece, etc., each day,
      each one, each piece, etc., by itself singly or
      separately; each severally.

   To come by, to get possession of; to obtain.

   To do by, to treat, to behave toward.

   To set by, to value, to esteem.

   To stand by, to aid, to support.
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   Note: The common phrase good-by is equivalent to farewell,
         and would be better written good-bye, as it is a
         corruption of God be with you (b'w'ye).
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