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abide, abide by

In its modern sense, the verb abide means to tolerate or to put up with something or someone. It is usually used in the negative.

  • Although she could not abide vanity in others, she found herself to be quite fascinating.
  • The fifteen-year-old would not abide her younger brother’s presence at her party.

The phrasal verb abide by means to comply with (a rule) or to carry out (a promise).

  • There seem to be two sets of rules whereby ordinary people have to abide by their contracts, but pro athletes do not.
  • She always abides by her words: when she says she’ll get the job done, she gets the job done.