From Middle English by (“town”), of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse bȳr (“dwelling, town”), from Proto-Germanic *būwiz (“dwelling”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰōw- (“to dwell”). Cognate with Danish by (“town”). More at bower.
Partly from a combining form of by (“by, near, around”), and partly continuing Middle English bi-, by-, from Old English bī- (“by, near, around”), from Proto-Germanic *bi (“near”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁epi (“on, by, near”).
- Prefix denoting nearness or roundaboutness
- Prefix meaning secondary, incidental, or parallel to