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Denotation vs. Connotation

anything

[en-ee-thing] /ˈɛn iˌθɪŋ/
pronoun
1.
any thing whatever; something, no matter what:
Do you have anything for a toothache?
noun
2.
a thing of any kind.
adverb
3.
in any degree; to any extent; in any way; at all:
Does it taste anything like chocolate?
Idioms
4.
anything but, in no degree or respect; not in the least:
The plans were anything but definite.
5.
anything goes, any type of conduct, dress, speech, etc., is considered acceptable or valid or is likely to be encountered and tolerated:
That resort is a place where anything goes!
Origin of anything
900
before 900; Middle English ani thing, eni thing, Old English ǣnig thing. See any, thing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for anything
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now, just imagine if you said anything of that sort to the Wilcoxes.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Besides, I never felt contempt for anything to which the gods had given life.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Just pass it over lightly if they ask you anything about it.

    The Story of a Play W. D. Howells
  • But this slab of black basalt was different from anything that had ever been discovered.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • But this sacrifice of American youth did not make the world safe for anything.

British Dictionary definitions for anything

anything

/ˈɛnɪˌθɪŋ/
pronoun
1.
any object, event, action, etc, whatever: anything might happen
noun
2.
a thing of any kind: have you anything to declare?
adverb
3.
in any way: he wasn't anything like his father
4.
anything but, by no means; not in the least: she was anything but happy
5.
like anything, (intensifier; usually euphemistic): he ran like anything
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anything
n.

late Old English aniþing, from any + thing. But Old English ænig þinga apparently also meant "somehow, anyhow" (glossing Latin quoquo modo).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with anything
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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15
16
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