anything goes


  1. any thing whatever; something, no matter what: Do you have anything for a toothache?


  1. a thing of any kind.


  1. in any degree; to any extent; in any way; at all: Does it taste anything like chocolate?
  1. anything but, in no degree or respect; not in the least: The plans were anything but definite.
  2. 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!


  1. any object, event, action, etc, whateveranything might happen


  1. a thing of any kindhave you anything to declare?


  1. in any wayhe wasn’t anything like his father
  2. anything but by no means; not in the leastshe was anything but happy
  3. like anything (intensifier; usually euphemistic)he ran like anything

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

Everything is permitted, as in You’re wearing sneakers to the office?—Why not? Anything goes these days. This idiom began life as everything goes, which appeared in George Meredith’s novel The Egoist (1879). In America anything was the preferred word, which gained further currency with Cole Porter’s use of the term as the title of his 1934 song and musical comedy, Anything Goes!

In addition to the idioms beginning with anything

  • anything but
  • anything goes
  • anything like

also see:

  • can’t do anything with
  • if anything
  • like anything
  • not anything like

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