Meaning of “any” in the English Dictionary

"any" in British English

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anydeterminer, pronoun

uk /ˈen.i/ us /ˈen.i/

any determiner, pronoun (SOME)

A1 some, or even the smallest amount or number of:

Is there any of that lemon cake left?
There was hardly any food left by the time we got there.
"Is there some butter I could use?" "No, there's some margarine but there isn't any butter."
"Is there any more soup?" "No, I'm afraid there isn't any left."
I haven't seen any of his movies.
I don't expect we'll have any more trouble from him.
I go to church for weddings but not for any other reason.
Are you sure there isn't any way of solving this problem?

More examples

  • I don't have any cash on me, so could I pay with by cheque?
  • All the shops were closed, so we couldn't buy any food.
  • "Can I buy stamps here?" "Well, we do sell them, but we haven't got any at the moment."
  • I tried taking tablets for the headache but they didn't have any effect.
  • He hardly ever washes the dishes and he rarely, if ever, does any cleaning.

any determiner, pronoun (NOT IMPORTANT WHICH)

A1 one of or each of a particular type of person or thing when it is not important which:

Any food would be better than nothing at all.
"Which of these cakes may I eat?" "Any."
The offer was that you could have any three items of clothing you liked for $30.
informal On Sundays I just wear any old thing (= anything) that I happen to find lying around.
Any of you should be able to answer this question.
Any idiot with a basic knowledge of French should be able to book a hotel room in Paris.
Any advice (= whatever advice) that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Any minute/day/time now (= very soon) there's going to be a massive quarrel between those two.
There were a lot of computers at the exhibition, any (one) of which would have suited me perfectly.

More examples

  • On Sundays I just wear any old thing that I happen to find lying around.
  • He wanted success at any price.
  • The virus can reactivate at any time.
  • If ever there was any sort of argument, she'd always side with my father against me.
  • We standardize parts such as rear-view mirrors, so that one type will fit any model of car we make.


uk /ˈen.i/ us /ˈen.i/

B1 at all or in the least:

Can't you run any faster?
Those trousers don't look any different from the others.
Are you feeling any better after your illness?
Houses in this area used to be a real bargain, but they're not cheap any more (= now).
This radio isn't any good (= it's useless) - I'll have to buy another.
I used to walk to work every day, but not any longer (= not now).
US informal I tried talking him out of it, but that didn't help any - he still left home.

More examples

  • Is your cold getting any better?
  • "Don't come any closer, " she said darkly.
  • "Halt!" called the guard. "You can't go any further without a permit."
  • I don't like to think what might have happened if he'd been driving any faster.
  • She doesn't work here any longer.

(Definition of “any” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"any" in American English

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anyadjective, pronoun

us /ˈen·i/

any adjective, pronoun (SOME)

(used in negative statements and questions) some, or even the smallest amount (of):

We didn’t have any idea what the airfare would be.
There was hardly any snow this winter.
Is there any hope that he will recover?
Are any of the concerts on a Saturday night?

any adjective, pronoun (NOT IMPORTANT WHICH)

one of or each of, or a stated amount of (something that is more than one or has a number of parts), without saying which particular part is meant:

You can have any three items of clothing you like for $30.
Any advice that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
They should be here any minute (= soon).
Any way you look at it, the investment was a bad idea.
I saw some beautiful cars at the auto show, any of which I’d like to have.

anyadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈen·i/

any adverb [ not gradable ] (AT ALL)

at all or in the least:

I can’t say any more.
He wasn’t any smarter than I was.
If she comes any later, we’ll miss the show.

(Definition of “any” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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