go by the book


go by the book


  • do things strictly according to the written rules, etc.
  • according to the rules and norms
  • to strictly follow the applicable guidelines to do something

Example Sentences

  1. The most successful officers are not those who always go by the book but use their initiative.
  2. My friend Sarah always goes strictly by the book at her job.
  3. I don’t believe in going by the book always. Sometimes it’s better to use your common sense according to the situation.


Currently, the origin of the phrase is not available with us.

Share your opinions1 Opinion

“The book” could possibly mean the Hebrew and/or Christian Bible, and to “go by” it, would mean to follow the laws and commandments laid out in it.

‒ Anonymous June 7, 2021

What's on your mind?