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!

Words Nearby anything goes

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

How to use anything goes in a sentence

  • When anything goes out of the frying-pan into the fire, it is usually productive of interesting by-products.

    The Gold Bat | P. G. Wodehouse
  • You must leave me some address, though, in case anything goes wrong during your absence.

    The Pagan's Cup | Fergus Hume
  • By keeping your hand on the clutch lever you may stop forward motion instantly if anything goes wrong.

    Farm Engines and How to Run Them | James H. Stephenson
  • I'll pay your boss for the whole flock if anything goes wrong.

    The Heart of the Desert | Honor Willsie Morrow
  • If anything goes wrong, I've got to have time to get from under.

    Makers of Madness | Hermann Hagedorn