[ en-ee ]
See synonyms for: anyanieraniest on

  1. one, a, an, or some; one or more without specification or identification: If you have any witnesses, produce them. Pick out any six you like.

  2. whatever or whichever it may be: cheap at any price.

  1. in whatever quantity or number, great or small; some: Do you have any butter?

  2. every; all: Any schoolboy would know that. Read any books you find on the subject.

  3. (following a negative) at all: She can't endure any criticism.

  1. an unspecified person or persons; anybody; anyone: He does better than any before him.

  2. a single one or ones; an unspecified thing or things; a quantity or number: We don't have any left.

  1. in whatever degree; to some extent; at all: Do you feel any better?

Idioms about any

  1. any which way, in any manner whatever; indifferently or carelessly: Doing your work any which way is just not good enough.

Origin of any

First recorded before 950; Middle English eni, ani, Old English ǣnig (Old English ān one + -ig-y1)

confusables note For any

3. See some.

Words Nearby any Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use any in a sentence

  • The open-up-to-any-chapter method might, in fact, be the best approach here.

    What Made Twain Famous | Nathaniel Rich | April 20, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Stalking the unexpected is “an all-year-round, any-kind-of-weather sport,” she says.

    6 Secrets of Perfect Gift Giving | Lee Eisenberg | November 26, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • For he's the soul of honor, Thyrsis; and he can't help how he feels about me-any more than I can help it.

    Love's Pilgrimage | Upton Sinclair
  • I appeal to yourself, Madam, whether these sublime notions have-any thing consoling in them?

    Letters To Eugenia | Paul Henri Thiry Holbach
  • They take their coats off anywhere and any-when, and somehow it strikes the visitor as the most symbolic thing about them.

    Letters from America | Rupert Brooke
  • Hyphens are sometimes used in cases like the following: "A never-to-be-forgotten event," "peace-at-any-rate principles."

    "Stops" | Paul Allardyce
  • On the fall of Richmond, and the surrender of Lee, this any-how impracticable scheme was necessarily abandoned.

British Dictionary definitions for any


/ (ˈɛnɪ) /

    • one, some, or several, as specified, no matter how much or many, what kind or quality, etc: any cheese in the cupboard is yours; you may take any clothes you like

    • (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): take any you like

  1. (usually used with a negative)

    • even the smallest amount or even one: I can't stand any noise

    • (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): don't give her any

  1. whatever or whichever; no matter what or which: any dictionary will do; any time of day

  2. an indefinite or unlimited amount or number (esp in the phrases any amount or number): any number of friends

  1. (usually used with a negative)

    • (foll by a comparative adjective) to even the smallest extent: it isn't any worse now

    • not standard at all: he doesn't care any

Origin of any

Old English ǣnig; related to Old Frisian ēnig, Old High German einag, Old Norse einigr anyone, Latin ūnicus unique; see an 1, one

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with any


In addition to the idioms beginning with any

  • any day
  • any longer
  • any number of
  • any old
  • any port in a storm

also see:

  • at any rate
  • by any means
  • go to any length
  • in any case
  • under any (no) circumstances

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.