a life of its own


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a life of its own

The state of something that exists and thrives outside and beyond the control of the point of origin. An urban legend can have a life of its own, changing every time it is retold. The accusations in the political race began to take on a life of their own, growing meaner and more elaborate every day.
See also: life, of, own

(have) a life of its ˈown

(of an object) seeming to move or function by itself without a person touching or working it: When he was painting, he said, the brush used to take on a life of its own and take him in directions he never intended to go.
See also: life, of, own
References in classic literature ?
He touched it with the tip of his forefinger, cautiously, as though it were something that had a life of its own.
It was itself like a great human heart, with a life of its own, and full of rich and sombre reminiscences.