See also: goby and go-by



go by (third-person singular simple present goes by, present participle going by, simple past went by, past participle gone by)

  1. To pass or go past without much interaction
    I like to sit and watch the world go by.   The rest of the day went by quickly.
    Synonyms: pass by; see also Thesaurus:pass by
  2. To be called, to use as a name.
    His full name is Ernest Tinkleton, but he goes by Ernie.
  3. To follow; to assume as true for the purposes of making a decision, taking an action, etc.
    I'm only going by what my teacher said.
    a good rule to go by
    • 1959 March, R. C. Riley, “Home with the Milk”, in Trains Illustrated, page 155:
      The uncared-for external appearance of the tanks is nothing to go by, for the glass-lined tanks are kept in perfect condition.
    • 2020 April 9, Richard Horton, “Coronavirus is the greatest global science policy failure in a generation”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Or perhaps we will sink back into our culture of complacent exceptionalism and await the next plague that will surely arrive. To go by recent history, that moment will come sooner than we think.