by the way


Alternative formsEdit


  • (file)

Prepositional phraseEdit

by the way

  1. (conjunctive, speech act, idiomatic) Incidentally; used in referencing a parenthetical statement not timely, central, or crucial to the topic at hand; foregone, passed by, something that has already happened.
    Synonyms: apropos, BTW, by the by, incidentally
    • 1853, Herman Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener, in Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Stories, New York: Penguin Books, 1968; reprint 1995 as Bartleby, ISBN 0 14 60.0012 9, p.2:
      [] I had counted on a life-lease of the profits, whereas I only received those of a few short years. But this is by the way.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “A very welcome, kind, useful present, that means to the parish. By the way, Hopkins, let this go no further. We don't want the tale running round that a rich person has arrived. Churchill, my dear fellow, we have such greedy sharks, and wolves in lamb's clothing. []
    His mother will be coming for dinner tomorrow, and, by the way, she volunteered to bring dessert.



by the way (not comparable)

  1. (Britain, idiomatic) Irrelevantly, off-topic.(Can we add an example for this sense?)