by the bye

bye

1 [bahy]
noun Also, by.
1.
Sports. in a tournament, the preferential status of a player or team not paired with a competitor in an early round and thus automatically advanced to play in the next round: The top three seeded players received byes in the first round.
2.
Golf. the holes of a stipulated course still unplayed after the match is finished.
3.
Cricket. a run made on a ball not struck by the batsman.
4.
something subsidiary, secondary, or out of the way.
adjective
5.
by1.
Idioms
6.
by the bye, by the way; incidentally: By the bye, how do you spell your name? Also, by the by.

Origin:
1710–20; variant spelling of by1 in its noun sense “side way”

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bye1 (baɪ)
 
n
1.  sport the situation in which a player or team in an eliminatory contest wins a preliminary round by virtue of having no opponent
2.  golf one or more holes of a stipulated course that are left unplayed after the match has been decided
3.  cricket See also leg bye a run scored off a ball not struck by the batsman: allotted to the team as an extra and not to the individual batsman
4.  something incidental or secondary
5.  by the bye incidentally; by the way: used as a sentence connector
 
[C16: a variant of by]

bye or bye-bye2
 
sentence substitute
informal (Brit) goodbye
 
bye-bye or bye-bye2
 
sentence substitute

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bye
in sporting use, a variant of by (prep). Originally in cricket, "a run scored on a ball that is missed by the wicket-keeper" (1746); later, in other sports, "position of one who is left without a competitor when the rest have drawn pairs" (1883).

bye
shortened form of good-bye. Reduplication bye-bye is recorded from 1709, though as a sound used to lull a child to sleep it is attested from 1630s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

by the bye

Also, by the by. Incidentally, in passing, as in By the bye, my wife is coming too, or Exactly where do you live, by the by? The bye or second by in this term originally meant "a side path," whence the current sense of "off the track" or "of secondary importance." [Early 1500s] Also see by the way.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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