Meaning of ANY in English

I. |enē, -ni sometimes _ən- or, after t or d, ə n- adjective

Etymology: Middle English any, eny, from Old English ǣnig (akin to Old Frisian ēnig, Old High German einag, Old Norse einigr anyone, no one), from ān one + -ig -y — more at one

1. : one indifferently out of more than two : one or some indiscriminately of whatever kind:

a. : one or another : this, that, or the other — used as a function word especially in interrogative and conditional expressions to indicate one that is not a particular or definite individual of the given category but whichever one chance may select

did you experience any trouble

if any defect appears

ask any man you meet

b. : one, no matter what one : every — used as a function word especially in assertions and denials to indicate one that is selected without restriction or limitation of choice

any child would know that

forbidden to enter any house

c. : one or some of whatever kind or sort ; especially : one or some however imperfect — used as a function word to indicate one that is selected with indifference to quality

any plan is better than no plan

2. : one, some, or all indiscriminately of whatever quantity:

a. : one or more : not none — used as a function word to indicate a positive but undetermined number or amount

I can't find any stamps

have you any money

b. : all — used as a function word to indicate the maximum or whole of a number or quantity

give me any letters you find

he needs any help he can get

c. : a or some no matter how great or small — used as a function word to indicate what is considered despite its quantity or extent

determined to win at any cost

it is good of you to pay any attention to him


a. : great, unmeasured, or unlimited in amount, quantity, number, time, or extent : up to whatever measure may be needed or desired

the falls can produce any quantity of water power

could have seen him any time last week

b. : appreciably or at all large, prolonged, or extended in amount, quantity, time, or extent — used with a preceding negative

could not endure it any length of time

could not walk any distance without falling

II. pronoun

( plural any )

Etymology: Middle English any, eny from Old English ǣnig, from ǣnig, adjective

1. : one or more indiscriminately from all those of a kind:

a. : any person or persons : anybody

asked if there were any present who had remembered

any of them could answer the question

b. : any thing or things : any part, quantity, or number

promised not to lose any of the books

a scene as effective as any in modern drama

no money and no prospect of any

2. now dialect England : one of two : either

III. adverb

Etymology: Middle English any, eny, from any, eny, adjective

: to any extent : in any degree : at all

he won't be any happier there

he could not walk any farther

you certainly aren't helping me any

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.