Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

(all) by itself - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

  1. 1
    not near any others

    His house stood by itself on the edge of the village.

  2. 2
    without help, or without being made to do something

    The door opens by itself as you approach it.

    The baby will soon be able to stand up all by itself.

  3. 3
    used for showing that one particular thing is the only thing involved

    Nuclear power by itself cannot provide for all our energy needs.

See also main entry: itself

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play