Definition of any in English:

any

pronoun & determiner

  • 1[usually with negative or in questions] Used to refer to one or some of a thing or number of things, no matter how much or many.

    [as determiner] ‘I don't have any choice’
    ‘do you have any tips to pass on?’
    [as pronoun] ‘someone asked him for a match, but Joe didn't have any’
    ‘you don't know any of my friends’
    ‘if there is any left, throw it away’
    • ‘It's important that you don't hold back any information, no matter how small you may think it is now.’
    • ‘We have not commented here on any of the other matters covered in the Griffiths report.’
    • ‘He tiptoed around it, trying not to get any of the putrid matter slop onto his fluffy bunny slippers.’
    • ‘I don't want you to go, either, but it looks like we don't really have any choice in the matter.’
    • ‘Spink is keen to see any examples of similar notes and will offer a free valuation to anyone who has any.’
    • ‘Have any of you got any hints and tips for me?’
    • ‘They said they could not see any purpose in referring the matter back to the board.’
    • ‘In this case they've solved a problem without referring to any of their memories.’
    • ‘None of these people has shown us or referred us to any specific documents in support of the information.’
    • ‘It is not known if the councils are planning to take any action in the matter at this stage.’
    • ‘One in four of those questioned said they did not know nor had any view on the matter.’
    • ‘Again, however, there is no provision for any of these matters to be met out of third party funds.’
    • ‘Not that any of that matters, but if these guys mess up again, an awful lot of people are going to get mad.’
    • ‘Not like you had any choice about the matter, packed lunches were banned, so you had to cough up.’
    • ‘We were not asked or given the choice about any of the changes to our contracts of employment.’
    • ‘Unless there are any other matters than those which we can address in a memorandum.’
    • ‘If you've got any of your own tips, feel free to share in the comments section.’
    • ‘They are not making any comment on the matter and are awaiting the referee's report of the incident.’
    • ‘Whether or not it should be made available to everyone without any strictures is another matter.’
    • ‘If there were any anomalies, no matter where they were marked, we would be challenging them.’
    some, a piece of, a part of, a bit of
    some, a piece of, a part of, a bit of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as pronoun] Anyone.
      ‘they are unlikely to be known by name to any but specialists’
      • ‘And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?’
      • ‘Buses will evacuate any who can't drive away.’
      • ‘Telling teachers they have to do more is not going to interest any but the most ardent and dedicated.’
      • ‘It is not a term which would be used by any but cheese-makers.’
      • ‘He doubted any would stop him if they'd seen his coat of arms.’
      • ‘Those who do not register in time to participate in the player selection system shall be ineligible, with these exceptions -- any who were sick or injured or any who became new permanent residents of the community after the selection.’
      anyone, anybody
      View synonyms
  • 2Whichever of a specified class might be chosen.

    [as determiner] ‘these constellations are visible at any hour of the night’
    ‘any fool knows that’
    [as pronoun] ‘the illness may be due to any of several causes’
    • ‘At this stage you can whisk or stir in any chosen flavouring such as sweet chilli sauce.’
    • ‘She would always be the first one to raise a class discussion about any topic, in any class.’
    • ‘It also expects to be a major beneficiary if any of the current proposals to extend pub hours are made law.’
    • ‘Math always came easy to me, so I really don't ever have to pay attention in any math class.’
    • ‘Mostly though he breaks up the sentences so any fool would know to read them.’
    • ‘He said that any fool could bet on a busted flush in poker, or swear that black is white, but that isn't a classic lie.’
    • ‘The work ethic culture has resulted in men working longer hours than in any other European country.’
    • ‘The plug you see below the fitting is the only part of any of these that is visible, and even then is difficult to spot.’
    • ‘Officers have made more arrests for class A offences than any other county division.’
    • ‘They'll be able to advise you on any parts of the class that are now unsuitable.’
    • ‘At the end of the year, more prefects were chosen from my class than from any other.’
    • ‘Boxing will be in for a treat if any of the class of 2004 show even a flash of their brilliance.’
    • ‘Second, there is more material to be taught in any given class than there is time to teach it.’
    • ‘Gentility and respectability are the last things people of any class wish to symbolise now.’
    • ‘Prior to this illegally parked vehicles were clamped at any hour of the day or night.’
    • ‘An hour spent with any of those people and you feel like clapping for joy, or asking if you can do it all again.’
    • ‘She cringed, remembering how Sara had asked her to take notes in any of the classes she would be missing.’
    • ‘The ruling classes in any country never have at heart the best interests of their subjects.’
    • ‘He is a world class player and any team would benefit from having him in the side.’
    • ‘The Rolling Stones, the Who and Led Zeppelin were liable to drop in at any hour, day or night.’
    whichever, whichever comes to hand, no matter which, never mind which
    whichever, whichever comes to hand, no matter which, never mind which
    View synonyms

adverb

  • 1[usually with negative or in questions, as submodifier] (used for emphasis) at all; in some degree.

    ‘he wasn't any good at basketball’
    ‘why look any further?’
    ‘no one would be any the wiser’
    • ‘A more superstitious premier might have resolved not to tempt fate any further.’
    • ‘Richard chose not to take it any further, but at the back of his mind he knew always knew something was not quite right.’
    • ‘I find Europe so fascinating that I'd be quite happy if I never went any further again.’
    • ‘This, however, didn't make her feel any the better.’
    • ‘The third was due to start last week, but Customs indicated they would not be taking the case any further.’
    • ‘If it were to stretch any further they'd be rolling up their trousers and paddling in the icy North Sea.’
    • ‘If it had gone on any longer we may well not have lived to tell the tale.’
    • ‘Two of the lads, David and Neil, said no one was any the worse for their experience.’
    • ‘As such it should not be allowed to influence our public life any further.’
    • ‘We hope he has a good accountant and focuses mainly on what he is good at, in order not to confuse people any further.’
    • ‘I don't think any good can come from filing a lawsuit against the jury.’
    • ‘He said often it was a lack of confidence or opportunity that stopped the young people going any further.’
    • ‘Before I go any further can I say that I am as guilty of this as many of you are out there.’
    • ‘The support bus picked me up along with all the others who were too exhausted to go any further.’
    • ‘He didn't grow any taller, but his messy red hair straightened out and became slightly more orange.’
    • ‘Ron said he decided to ring the Evening Press and place the advert before the rumour made it any further.’
    • ‘In less than a minute, they decide whether or not they want to take it any further.’
    • ‘Before we could go any further on the subject, he says he prefers to talk about art.’
    • ‘We wouldn't be any better a nation if the distillation process had never been discovered.’
    • ‘Luckily they don't have to scrape about any further as the survey is in again.’
    at all, in the least, to any extent, to some extent, somewhat, in any degree, to some degree
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1US informal Used alone, not qualifying another word.
      ‘I didn't hurt you any’
      • ‘She’s a tiny creature but I don’t think that should hinder her any.’
      • ‘At this point in his life we do not want him to be a part of it either, we don't want to confuse him any, as far as he is concerned I am his Dad.’
      • ‘It didn't seem to hurt him any.’
      • ‘He has a slight limp due to a healed injury to a front foreleg, but that sure doesn't hinder him any!’
      • ‘Yes he has hit into bad luck, and the new defensive approach hasn't helped him any.’

Usage

When used as a pronoun, any can be used with either a singular or a plural verb, depending on the context: we needed more sugar but there wasn't any left (singular verb) or are any of the new videos available? (plural verb)

Phrases

  • any amount of

    • A great deal or number of.

      ‘a good marriage can withstand any amount of external pressure’
      • ‘Integrity is not something that can be bought with any amount of money.’
      • ‘It has lots of fun things for cheap, but it's a hassle to go there and spend any amount of time buying things for my survival.’
      • ‘New Orleans gets any amount of rain and they have got a water problem.’
      • ‘Little by little you will be renewed from within yourself and be able to withstand any amount of stress.’
      • ‘They are unfazed by any amount of death, destruction, loss, tragedy, travesty.’
      • ‘You cannot quite escape the war anywhere, resulting in reams of exasperation that cannot be dealt with by any amount of ranting.’
      • ‘But seriously, does any amount of soft or hard science help in this kind of discussion?’
      • ‘I don't think there is any amount of pressure that can be exerted from Australia that's going to make the difference.’
      • ‘There is just no reason that any amount of government money or ‘counseling’ will change this.’
  • any old

    • Any item of a specified type (used to show that no particular or special individual is in question)

      ‘any old room would have done’
      • ‘I decided last year that I wasn't going to go on applying for just any old office job just because I need the money.’
      • ‘Over the weekend however, I hope I was able to show that any old hack can get in a bus and go up the mountain for a few days.’
      • ‘Acting is a refined craft that takes years to perfect and isn't something that can just be knocked out by any old Joe Schmoe.’
      • ‘It's so simple that any old sailor and any old journalist can litigate it in less than two minutes.’
      • ‘Just feeding it into any old shredder will do just fine.’
      • ‘People are saying they don't want any old tat, they want to find quality and they want to find a bargain, that is special and unique.’
      • ‘My teachers would buy any old excuse for why I couldn't be at school.’
      • ‘Don't be ridiculous, I scolded, you're just trying to think up any old excuse so you can get up from the computer.’
      • ‘But the press cannot seriously claim to be acting as public watchdog when it publishes any old rubbish.’
      • ‘This wasn't just any old fad, though, but one which has dominated western eating habits for almost the last eight years.’
  • any time (also anytime)

    • 1At whatever time.

      ‘she can come any time’
      • ‘Gerald's new life is a testament to his independence, but he is able to return home any time he wishes.’
      • ‘Contestants can make their move any time, with sneaky surprise a distinct advantage.’
      • ‘They also freeze quite well so you can pull them out of your freezer and enjoy them any time.’
      • ‘Kevin Hayes stood in front of Cusack any time he tried to take a quick puck-out.’
      • ‘A full-back by the name of Larus Sigurdsson flattened him any time he went near the ball.’
      • ‘I am writing to complain about people who light bonfires any time, day or night.’
      • ‘It's been scary knowing they were on the loose and could strike again, any time.’
      • ‘The club has a library with a gymnasium where anyone can walk in any time to relax and unwind.’
      • ‘The centre presented Heather with a gold card allowing her to visit any time.’
      • ‘Federal registration could be granted anytime.’
    • 2Without exception or doubt.

      ‘I can handle a shrimp like him anytime’
      • ‘Because it's true you know - I can take anyone down, anytime.’
  • any time (or day or minute, etc.) now

    • informal Very soon.

      ‘we'll get them back any day now’
      • ‘Bobby Williamson, the man Hibs hope to unveil as Sauzee's successor any time now, had no managerial experience when he was asked to take over the reins at Kilmarnock in 1996.’
      • ‘Two new books are out on the subject, two others will be out any day now, and the Spitzer data will soon be in print.’
      • ‘Plus, she couldn't shake that feeling that they were going to get caught soon, that this fun would end, any day now.’
      • ‘She said: ‘Work will start any time now on the nature reserve, which will protect the wildlife currently living in Northwick Road.’’
      • ‘Actually, there are two more positions that should be posted any time now and I've been asked to apply for both, so there's even more opportunity for growth.’
      • ‘‘It could be any time now,’ Faldo said, with his wife expecting their first child, his fourth, on August 2.’
      • ‘‘All the calves are doing really well - and we're expecting another one any time now,’ said reserve manager Chris Lawrence.’
      • ‘My finger traced out his features as I suddenly became aware that any minute now, I would faint.’
      • ‘We are expecting companies to start putting in bids any time now and the process will take between four to six weeks to complete.’
      • ‘Seems like we ought to be hearing from her any time now.’
      in a second, in a minute, in a moment, in a trice, in a flash, shortly, any second, any minute, any minute now, in a short time, in an instant, in less than no time, in no time at all, in next to no time, before you know it, before long
      View synonyms
  • be not having any (of it)

    • informal Be unwilling to cooperate.

      ‘I tried to make polite conversation, but he wasn't having any’
      • ‘Anthony apologized, but she was not having any of it.’
      • ‘They must have seen its phony optimism plain, and, after four years of war, were not having any.’
      • ‘However, the girl was not having any of it she grabbed hold of Calsy's face and forced him to look at her.’
      • ‘He demanded money from the shopkeeper, who bravely picked up a piece of metal and told him he was not having any.’
      • ‘Lucy and Misty were fine all taking their tablets between two pieces of ham, but when it came to Eric he was not having any of it and the tablet rolled away.’
      • ‘My wife however, is not having any of it.’
      • ‘Christie is not having any of it: ‘I hear that all the time, but I'm not the slightest bit alarmed on the road.’’
  • hardly any

    • 1Almost no.

      ‘they sold hardly any books’
      1. 1.1Almost none.
        ‘hardly any had previous convictions’
        • ‘There were hardly any students of science or scientists in their ranks.’
        • ‘Until a few days ago, there was hardly any news in Danish newspapers and magazines about elections in India.’
        • ‘There is hardly any inflation and the trade deficit is not as high as could have been expected.’
        • ‘There is hardly any discussion of how to deal with global warming while generating substantial economic growth at the same time.’
        • ‘He's in fact been all but invisible of late making hardly any public appearances.’
        • ‘At first this sounds truly minimal: slow-moving layers of overlapping sound with hardly any pulse.’
        • ‘Boxing, or rather a raw version of it with no gloves and hardly any rules, was part of the Ancient Games programme.’
        • ‘There were people like that in my village too, as a child, but hardly any to speak of, and possibly none now.’
        • ‘In 1979, there were hardly any production companies and none of us were on the radar at that point.’
        • ‘There was hardly any wind at the start and to add to frustrations, north lake was busy as holidaymakers took advantage of the heatwave.’
        little, little or no, minimal, hardly any, limited, negligible, barely sufficient, meagre
        View synonyms
  • not just any —

    • A particular or special thing of its type rather than an ordinary one of that type.

      ‘he had an acting job at last, and not just any part, but the lead in a new film’
      • ‘Just wondering how some people will react to the news that Ellen DeGeneres has gotten a new gig, not just any job, mind you.’
      • ‘And not just any fella; one with what is patently a made-up name.’
      • ‘The new buildings are not just any old structures either.’
      • ‘Now that I had the money, I wanted a real Harris tweed jacket, and not just any Harris tweed jacket but a thick one, with more tweed in it than other tweed jackets.’
      • ‘She needed to get herself a bike, and not just any ordinary bike.’
      • ‘It was yellow, and not just any yellow, but sinister yellow.’
      • ‘Yes, these prizes are not just any old give-aways you get in some newspapers, they are tailor-made for the discerning readers of this column.’
      • ‘He knew, that the fifth was a thief, not just any ordinary thief, but one who had more brains than the others of his guild.’
      • ‘Again, a music festival is not just any other ordinary event.’
      • ‘This is not just any job; it is what may well be the second most powerful position in the United States government.’

Origin

Old English ǣnig (see one, -y), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch eenig and German einig.

Pronunciation:

any

/ˈenē/