If Anything

Meaning of Idiom ‘If Anything’

If anything means to any degree, if at all; if anything definite can be said (this is it); if there is any difference at all. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Kumar, Vijaya. The Sterling Dictionary of Idioms. Sterling Publisher, 2000.,3Vizetelly, Frank H., De Bekker, L. J. A Desk-book of Idioms and Idiomatic Phrases in English Speech and Literature. New York: Gosset & Dunlop, 1923.


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Examples Of Use

“I don’t think recycling is the answer. If anything, we need to reduce our use of plastic in the first place.”

“No, I’m not upset about you going on a trip. If anything, I’m happy you are going to have some time to relax.”

“How is little Amy feeling today?” “If anything, her fever is down and she seems to have more energy.”

“If anything, we should spend less, not more, on the military,” said the congressman.

Origin

Used since the early 1800s.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Kumar, Vijaya. The Sterling Dictionary of Idioms. Sterling Publisher, 2000.
3. Vizetelly, Frank H., De Bekker, L. J. A Desk-book of Idioms and Idiomatic Phrases in English Speech and Literature. New York: Gosset & Dunlop, 1923.