[ 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 goes


/ (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 goes (1 of 2)

anything goes

Everything is permitted, as in You're wearing sneakers to the office?—Why not? Anything goes these days. This idiom began life as everything goes, which appeared in George Meredith's novel The Egoist (1879). In America anything was the preferred word, which gained further currency with Cole Porter's use of the term as the title of his 1934 song and musical comedy, Anything Goes!

Idioms and Phrases with anything goes (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.