Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. One, some, every, or all without specification: Take any book you want. Are there any messages for me? Any child would love that. Give me any food you don't want.
  • adj. Exceeding normal limits, as in size or duration: The patient cannot endure chemotherapy for any length of time.
  • pro. Any one or more persons, things, or quantities.
  • adv. To any degree or extent; at all: didn't feel any better.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. To even the slightest extent, at all.
  • At least one; of at least one kind. One at all.
  • No matter what kind.
  • pro. Any thing(s) or person(s).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. One indifferently, out of an indefinite number; one indefinitely, whosoever or whatsoever it may be.
  • adj. Some, of whatever kind, quantity, or number; as, are there any witnesses present? are there any other houses like it?
  • adv. To any extent; in any degree; at all.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In the singular, one, a or an, some; in the plural, some: indeterminately distributed, implying unlimited choice as to the particular unit, number, or quantity, and hence subordinately as to quality, whichever, of whatever quantity or kind; an indeterminate unit or number of units out of many or all.
  • [In affirmative sentences, any, being indeterminate in application, in effect has reference to every unit of the sort mentioned, and thus may be nearly equivalent to every: as, any schoolboy would know that; any attempt to evade the law will be resisted: so in anybody, any one, anything, etc.
  • When any is preceded by a negative, expressed or implied, the two are together equivalent to an emphatic negative, ‘none at all,’ ‘not even one’: as, there has never been any doubt about that.
  • In the singular, one, some; in the plural, some: indeterminately distributed in the same uses as the adjective, and used absolutely or followed by of in partitive construction: with reference to persons, any one, anybody; in the plural, any persons.
  • [In this sense it might formerly have a possessive.
  • In any degree; to any extent; at all: especially used with comparatives, as any better, any worse, any more, any less, any sooner, any later, any longer, etc.
  • Also, in negative and interrogative sentences, used absolutely: as, it didn't rain any here; did it hurt him any?

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. to any degree or extent
  • adj. one or some or every or all without specification

Etymologies

Middle English ani, from Old English ǣnig; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English eny, from Old English æniġ. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I think it's especially egregious that McDonnell's proclamation omitted any mention of slavery his explanation for doing so was that he thought slavery was not a "significant" issue for Virginia and its history because Virginia had more slaves than _any_ other state at the time of the Civil War.

    Avlon: Ugliness & absurdities in American politics continue

  • Forget any racism involved, I can see how the "You don't know who I am" thing could get *any* cop's back up and make him or her want to let the person attempting to coerce or intimidate them know that they are not above the law. . .

    Media should keep pushing on Crowley

  • People don\'t want to hear their names, see their faces or hear about any more of their previous or future escapades ... let alone \'any\ 'further information about them.

    Britney, Paris, and Obama: A Trio Locked in History!

  • His thesis was that the media's misbehavior will be directed any *any* Democratic candidate for president, because the Democratic Party is less for the privileges of the elites than the Republican Party is.

    Last Dance, Last Chance for Loooove

  • And, considering that the pressure profile within an object can be dialed up or down almost arbitrarily (within limits) _without_ causing any change in its apparent gravity, it is hard to see how pressure can make _any_ appearance in the calculation at all.

    Dark Matter: Still Existing

  • My point is that any elite athlete or athletic team — professional or collegiate — is considered newsworthy by the national media for *any* alleged run-in with the law and that this has been the case for at least 20 years.

    The Spectacle Of It All

  • Can't we simply agree it's usenet and people (any people) with an agenda (any agenda) will use _any_ means to steal the light for a minute ?

    The Boundaries of Diversity

  • I'm also never particularly impressed by articles that claim to be about students - what they're doing or thinking - without any sign that the writer has actually bothered to communicate with *any* students let alone made any attempt to be representative on the subject...

    Let Me Entertain You

  •   At that point, he would accost her without any fear of attracting any  attention.

    TEDBUNDY

  • The slave is not allowed to resist any free man under _any_ circumstances, _his_ only safety consists in the fact that his _owner_ may bring suit and recover the price of his body, in case his life is taken, or his limbs rendered unfit for labor.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

Comments

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    May 6, 2008