by the book

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - by the book

"by the book"

strictly according to the rules


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - by the book

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: How was your presentation yesterday?

Colleague 2:  I think it went really well.

Colleague 1:  What was your secret to success?

Colleague 2:  I went strictly by the book when creating the presentation.

Colleague 1:  So you followed all the rules of creating successful presentations?

Colleague 2:  Exactly.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - by the book

Two lawyers are talking ...

Lawyer 1:  I can't believe you won that case. Everyone thought that it was not possible.

Lawyer 2:  I did not exactly play by the book.

Lawyer 1:  You got a little creative, did you?

Lawyer 2:  Yes. I needed to look at the situation from a completely different perspective. I did not break any laws but I definitely did not follow the traditional litigation model.

by the book - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,274   click for frequency by country

by the book - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for by the book.

by the book - Examples:

1)  It's best to do everything by the book if possible to avoid potential complications.

2)  They no longer have the ability to give warnings. Everything is by the book, even if it kills an innocent citizen.

3)  I want to stay, so I played everything by the book. and now when my visa I have to leave.

4)  ... thought American dream was about you get your opportunity if you play everything by the book.

5)  ... is for people who come here and want to play a follow things by the book. (by the law).

6)  Twitter is supposed to be fun, and doing everything by the book, or in a very methodical or rule-driven way, can sometimes make it seem ...

7)  First, Smith played by the book in a situation where the book should be lit on fire.

8)  Insurance companies have to go by the book if they want to participate in the system.

9)  ... sometimes it seemed that she got too caught up in running things "by the book."

10)  The long suffering, do it by the book, hard working silent majority (no longer) has HAD it with this corruption.

11)  ... and criticized my actions that were by the book because I didn't try to take them one step further.

12)  Western hypocrites "follow the rules by the book" and then blame someone else when things got worse.

13)  He was treated just like anyone else, completely by the book, was required to pay a penalty, and he did pay the penalty in ...

14)  You had to do things the right way, right by the book.

15)  ... the part of the drivers and companies, and gives drivers to operate by the book, which will increase safety.

16)  90% of the cases are "not ordinary" and "not by the book". You have the book as guideline, and you use experience and judgment ...

17)  ... do make me feel like they're "drones" who go "by the book" and not an inch to the left or right. 

18)  Kirk is the swashbuckling rebel -- he refuses to play by the book of the stuffed shirts of the Federation. 

19)  Often an umpire expands the zone one way but plays it by the book in the other directions.

20)  He has to go by the book to succeed and being a robot doesn't translate to being a great QB.