it·self / itˈself/ • pron. [third person sing.] 1. [reflexive] used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to a thing or animal previously mentioned as the subject of the clause: his horse hurt itself wisteria was tumbling over itself. 2. used to emphasize a particular thing or animal mentioned: the roots are several inches long, though the plant itself is only a foot tall. ∎ used after a quality to emphasize what a perfect example of that quality someone or something is: Mrs. Vincent was kindness itself. PHRASES: by itself see by oneself at by. in itself viewed in its essential qualities; considered separately from other things: some would say bringing up a family was a full-time job in itself.