Definition of anything in English:



  • 1[usually with negative or in questions] Used to refer to a thing, no matter what:

    ‘nobody was saying anything’
    ‘have you found anything?’
    ‘he inquired whether there was anything he could do’
    • ‘The Government is getting more revenue but in return the public is not getting anything.’
    • ‘Anyone who can remember anything that may help police are asked to come forward.’
    • ‘I do not know whether there is anything else that you might be able to assist us on?’
    • ‘A man walked up to the elderly woman and without saying anything started punching her.’
    • ‘We are left wondering whether they had anything more to offer than tea and sympathy.’
    • ‘The truth of the matter is there isn't anything in the gift line that I want, let alone need.’
    • ‘That division is a matter of our linguistic systems and not anything about knowledge.’
    • ‘Suddenly, neither of us had anything to say to one another aside from the matter in hand.’
    • ‘With so many exciting projects and prospects, is there anything he would wish for?’
    • ‘He had no convictions for anything of a similar nature.’
    • ‘Yes it was a good technology, but nobody cared enough about it to write anything for it.’
    • ‘They both got in touch and asked us for demos, but we never heard anything back.’
    • ‘The owner threatened to scream and the two men left the property without taking anything.’
    • ‘There was no time to assess whether anything was stolen or the extent of the damage.’
    • ‘It is unbelievable that Labour should be doing this and nobody says anything about it.’
    • ‘Fill them out with examples drawn from your texts and analyse anything that you quote or refer to.’
    • ‘The question is no longer whether to buy this or that, it is whether to buy anything at all.’
    • ‘The thug then warned her to stay in the office and not to do anything for 10 minutes.’
    • ‘Nobody said anything though, and it may have just been dismissed as a jokey comment.’
    • ‘The issue is whether we have any power or duty to do anything about the situation which has arisen.’
    1. 1.1[without negative] Used for emphasis:
      ‘I was ready for anything’
      • ‘This time he did not quite enjoy an armchair ride but he was ready for anything that came his way.’
      • ‘If so, shareholders will be entitled to wonder whether there is anything he cannot do.’
      • ‘The argument now is about how badly we will be affected and whether it is too late to do anything about it.’
      • ‘The family had stocked up on food and water and was ready for anything, he said.’
      • ‘The next day I came back to work truly rested and ready for anything the world could throw at me.’
      • ‘At one stage I asked Eddy whether we should refuse to have anything to do with it.’
      • ‘In general, geeks are very happy to tell you anything, whether you wanted to know it or not.’
      • ‘We have built up a lead at the top now but nobody is taking anything for granted.’
      • ‘Dad is a DIY expert and he fixes anything that needs repairing in a matter of seconds.’
      • ‘You could imagine her doing almost anything, whether or not it was likely to get a laugh.’
      • ‘Anyone who has had their coat hem nibbled on by a goat down on the farm knows that they will eat almost anything.’
      • ‘Now he is ready, willing and able to face up to anything the championship can throw at him.’
      • ‘She really would do anything for anyone and was very well liked by all her friends and colleagues.’
      • ‘I would give anything to be fit enough to do the walk again but, these days, a walk to the shops is my limit.’
      • ‘The scale of this crisis is bigger than anything we, as an organisation, have ever seen.’
      • ‘Currently, there does not appear to be anything close to a meeting of minds in such matters.’
      • ‘I missed out on an opportunity three years ago and this time I would have paid anything.’
      • ‘On the evidence of the past year, she seems ready for anything the stage can throw at her.’
      • ‘The question is whether we can say anything sensible about what the error is likely to be.’
      • ‘When he was a boy, Fernando Redondo was soon taught that he could achieve anything.’
    2. 1.2 Used to indicate a range:
      ‘he trains anything from seven to eight hours a day’
      • ‘The client can decide on the length and duration of the game walk, anything from a strenuous 3- hour hike to a more leisurely 30-minute stroll.’
      • ‘As a common law offence, the punishment can carry anything up to a life sentence.’
      • ‘Security locks can cost anything from £3 to £80.’