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one, a, an, or some; one or more without specification or identification:
If you have any witnesses, produce them. Pick out any six you like.
whatever or whichever it may be:
cheap at any price.
in whatever quantity or number, great or small; some:
Do you have any butter?
every; all:
Any schoolboy would know that. Read any books you find on the subject.
(following a negative) at all:
She can’t endure any criticism.
an unspecified person or persons; anybody; anyone:
He does better than any before him.
a single one or ones; an unspecified thing or things; a quantity or number:
We don’t have any left.
in whatever degree; to some extent; at all:
Do you feel any better?
any which way, in any manner whatever; indifferently or carelessly:
Doing your work any which way is just not good enough.

one, some, or several, as specified, no matter how much or many, what kind or quality, etc: any cheese in the cupboard is yours, you may take any clothes you like
(as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): take any you like

(usually used with a negative)

even the smallest amount or even one: I can’t stand any noise
(as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): don’t give her any

whatever or whichever; no matter what or which: any dictionary will do, any time of day
an indefinite or unlimited amount or number (esp in the phrases any amount or number): any number of friends
(usually used with a negative)

(foll by a comparative adjective) to even the smallest extent: it isn’t any worse now
(not standard) at all: he doesn’t care any


Old English ænig “any, anyone,” literally “one-y,” from Proto-Germanic *ainagas (cf. Old Saxon enig, Old Norse einigr, Old Frisian enich, Dutch enig, German einig), from PIE *oi-no- “one, unique” (see one). The -y may have diminutive force here.

Emphatic form any old ______ (British variant: any bloody ______) is recorded from 1896. At any rate is recorded from 1847. Among the large family of compounds beginning with any-, anykyn “any kind” (c.1300) did not survive, and Anywhen (1831) is rarely used, but OED calls it “common in Southern [British] dialects.”

any day
any longer
any number of
any old
any port in a storm

also see:

at any rate
by any means
go to any length
in any case
under any (no) circumstances


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