“In and of Itself” – Meaning Explained (Helpful Examples)

Have you ever heard the phrase “in and of itself”? If so, doesn’t It sound strange? Did you check out its meaning and how it originated? This article sheds light on all of these, giving examples of how they are used in sentences.

What Does “In and of Itself” Mean?

“In and of itself” is an idiom which means “without considering anything else” or that something is as it is without or despite anything else. It is used to describe a circumstance, an object, or an individual, and it means something has been considered by itself without giving thought to extra factors. 

in and of itself meaning

The idiom “in and of itself” has an uncertain origin. However, the best hypothesis of its origin is that “it originated hundreds of years ago from the Latin phrase “per se” (which means “in itself” or “by itself” or “without anyone else” when translated to English).

It is used to emphasize that a particular thing talked about is enough or true without considering anything else.

Below are examples to help grasp what the above statement meant;

  • Having a child is, in and of itself, a blessing.
  • Having you amidst us is, in and of itself, a great honor. 

In the former,” in and of itself” emphasized the fact that “having a child” is a blessing.

The idiom” in and of itself” can be separated into “in itself” and “of itself”. The separated parts can be used in sentences without changing its meaning. What do I mean by this? We will check this later on in this article.

The word “itselves” is used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to someone or something previously mentioned as the subject of the clause.

 For example;

  • The points we got for coming in first and second place in both the quiz and debate competition were, in and of themselves, enough for our team to get a trophy.

Here, it could be seen that the subject “points” Is in the plural form. Therefore, the subject also has to be in the plural form, which is “themselves”.

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How To Use “In and of Itself” In a Sentence.

The idiom “in and of itself” can be used in a sentence as a whole or divided into “in itself” or “of itself” without changing its meaning. This is to refer to the intrinsic nature of something or to judge something out of its context.

It can also be used to emphasize the importance of considering something in its context without reference to anything else.

The following are examples of how to use “in and of itself” in a sentence.

  1. The tea was good in and of itself. But if you drink tea with bread or biscuits, it’s much better.
  2. This drum is in itself an insult to anyone who purchases it.
  3. Self-employment is not good or bad in itself.
  4. In itself, the decision might not have been forceful, but it could have had disastrous consequences.
  5. Of itself, the idea of recycling waste materials was neither new nor original.
  6. In and of itself, the dress looks beautiful, but I think you should consider adding accessories to it.

In and of Itself – Synonyms

The usage of the phrase “in and of itself” in sentences is gradually becoming rare, and this is because it sounds a little bit complex and difficult for easy assimilation. This has led to the usage of various synonyms, which are widely accepted and preferred.

Below are examples of synonyms of the phrase “in and of itself”;

  • In itself
  • On its own
  • Intrinsically
  • Inherently
  • By itself 

Final Thoughts

The phrase “in and of itself,” which is an idiomatic expression, is used to refer to the intrinsic nature of something. It can also be used to portray an object, article, or situation to depict something that has been considered alone without a thought to anything else.