by the book meaning

  "by the book" in a sentence
  • Adverb: by the book
    1. Exactly obeying the rules

  • [American slang]
    following the rules exactly. (Alludes to a (numbered) book of rules. Typically: go ~; do something ~; play ~; run something ~.)
      The judge of the contest ran things strictly by the rules and disqualified us on a small technicality.
      Everyone insisted that we go by the numbers and not accept the proposal.


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  1. elizabeth was consumed by the book.
  2. he is always careful to do things by the book.
  3. he always goes by the book.
  4. he showed little initiative, handling all matters strictly by the book.
  5. but the spell cast by the book was clearly too powerful

Related Words

  1. by rights meaning
  2. by rote meaning
  3. by shank's mare meaning
  4. by small and small meaning
  5. by small degrees meaning
  6. by the by meaning
  7. by the bye meaning
  8. by the day meaning
  9. by the dozen meaning
  10. by the dozens meaning
PC Version