[ en-ee-thing ]
/ ˈɛn iˌθɪŋ /


any thing whatever; something, no matter what: Do you have anything for a toothache?


a thing of any kind.


in any degree; to any extent; in any way; at all: Does it taste anything like chocolate?


    anything but, in no degree or respect; not in the least: The plans were anything but definite.
    anything goes, any type of conduct, dress, speech, etc., is considered acceptable or valid or is likely to be encountered and tolerated: That resort is a place where anything goes!

Origin of anything

before 900; Middle English ani thing, eni thing, Old English ǣnig thing. See any, thing1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for anything but


/ (ˈɛnɪˌθɪŋ) /


any object, event, action, etc, whateveranything might happen


a thing of any kindhave you anything to declare?


in any wayhe wasn't anything like his father
anything but by no means; not in the leastshe was anything but happy
like anything (intensifier; usually euphemistic)he ran like anything
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

Idioms and Phrases with anything but (1 of 2)

anything but

By no means, not at all, as in He is anything but ambitious for a promotion. William Wordsworth in his long poem, The Prelude (1805–1806), wrote: “Grief call it not, 'twas anything but that.”

Idioms and Phrases with anything but (2 of 2)


In addition to the idioms beginning with anything

  • anything but
  • anything goes
  • anything like

also see:

  • can't do anything with
  • if anything
  • like anything
  • not anything like
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.