1. One or some; no matter which: Take any book you want. Do you have any information on ancient Roman architecture?
a. No matter how many or how few; some: Are there any oranges left?
b. No matter how much or how little: Is there any milk left?
3. Every: Any dog likes meat.
4. Exceeding normal limits, as in size or duration: The patient cannot endure chemotherapy for any length of time.
pron. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
Any person or thing or any persons or things; anybody or anything: We haven't any left. Any of the people behind the front desk can help you.
To any degree or extent; at all: The patient didn't feel any better after the treatment.
[Middle English ani, from Old English ǣnig; see oi-no- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The construction of any has been criticized by usage commentators for being illogical, but it has stood the test of time in respected usage. In our 2009 survey, 75 percent of the Usage Panel accepted it in He is the best known of any living playwright. · When used with the meaning "at all" to modify a verb, the adverb any has an informal ring to it and should probably be avoided in formal writing. In 2009, 70 percent of the Usage Panel rejected the sentences It didn't hurt any and If the baby cries any, give her the bottle.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.