give the go-by



give the go-by (third-person singular simple present gives the go-by, present participle giving the go-by, simple past gave the go-by, past participle given the go-by)

  1. (transitive, now rare) To leave behind, outdistance. [from 17th c.]
    • 2007, Sunday Mail, 5 August:
      Sliding Cube was taken on in front at Randwick and a couple of runners gave her the ‘go by’ when the field straightened.
  2. (transitive) To avoid dealing with; to disregard, ignore. [from 17th c.]
    • 1844, John Wilson, Essay on the Genius, and Character of Burns
      [T]hey express sweetly enough some natural sentiments,—and what more would you have in a song? You have had far more in some songs to which we have given the go-by []
    • 1911, Max Beerbohm, Zuleika Dobson:
      To those other, those so august, accomplishments she no more pretended. She gave them the go-by.
  3. (transitive) To snub (someone); to end a relationship. [from 19th c.]
    • 2012, Christina Brooke, Mad About the Earl:
      "If you mean to give him the go-by, you ought to do it cleanly [] and not string the fellow along."