by itself

by itself

Alone; with nothing else added. One nail by itself won't hold up that picture frame—put another nail in on this side. I think this dish is fine by itself—it doesn't need a sauce.
See also: by, itself
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

by itself

with the help of nothing else; without the addition of anything else. Will this food be enough by itself for all of us? Can the dog get out of the house by itself?
See also: by, itself
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.
Thus, in respect of the manner in which the thing takes place, it is the peculiar mark of substance that it should be capable of admitting contrary qualities; for it is by itself changing that it does so.
It will do this by itself, and by leading to polygamy and polyamory.
Yet while devotees of Krsna ("the highest pleasure") often study this work by itself as one of their great scriptures, it is also part of a larger story, the historical epic the Mahabharata.
Because so many non-genetic variables are involved in the diseases that cause the vast majority of human deaths, and because the body in many instances can compensate for specific genetic defects, genetic testing by itself rarely gives accurate predictions of who will get sick from what--a reality unchanged by knowing the complete sequence of the human genome.
If IP, instead of Fibre Channel just by itself, starts becoming the underlying protocol support storage, then I do see WAN support for storage, and less of a need for these islands to pop.
Also, the ceiling lift by itself replaces the traditional array of hydraulic floor lift, toilet commode, raised toilet seat, Versa frame, bath transfer bench and bath lift.
There's a psychological certainty in the idea that somebody - the president, the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board - is 'at the helm.' Perhaps the hardest thing for people to grasp is that the economy has the properties of a living organism - it runs by itself."
They show that self-defeat has been the basic theme of the new German figuration, which is why, I think, that work has been so celebrated abroad: it reassures us that, despite its renewed political weight, Germany, once such a threat to the world, has indeed been defeated - and by itself, no less.
There is no doubt in his mind that his material actually proved hint a patriot and the king's loyal servant, as far as it makes sense to envision such a material in and by itself, which is not much.
Night, By Itself, premiered on a program that included three other Miller dances: St.
These asides give her work an endearing informality, though at times the context is so ponderous (as in Night, By Itself) that they fail to provide the desired levity.
In the latest twist on this unusual phenomenon, researchers at Brown University in Providence, R.I., have discovered that a sharp temperature gradient, ranging from 700 [degrees] C, to 1,000 [degrees] C, by itself can produce a characteristic damage pattern in the core of a heated optical fiber -- even when no laser light passes through the fiber.
One would think that by itself it would force the Church to action, but recent history tells us that likely nothing would happen unless the results of homosexuality in the clergy were blazoned on our secular newspapers time after time.
In the case of Poussin, the system of painting devised in the Italian Renaissance is now seen as something that "walks by itself," an ensemble of rules and protocols that are utterly impersonal - a system that no longer has anything to do with the painter's actual or living perception of the world.