Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Anyway and Anyways

Anyway vs. Anyways

While it may seem that the words ‘anyway’ and ‘anyways’ should share the same definition and meaning, they don’t. Typically, when the letter ‘s’ is added at the end of a word, it is meant to indicate there is more than one. This is not the case in the word ‘anyways’, as there can be no plural to an adverb. ‘Anyway’ is defined as anywise and by any means. It is used in the context of doing something by any means necessary. The definition of the word ‘anyways’ is to any degree, and also anywise. It is used in the context of doing something by more than one means necessary. ‘Anyway’ and ‘anyways’ are next to each other as they appear alphabetically in the dictionary; ‘anyway’ comes first, however, since it lacks the extra letter at the end. There is no difference in the way the two words are spoken; the only difference in spelling is the additional ‘s’ at the end of anyways.

Both words can actually be considered synonyms of one another, meaning they can be used to mean the same thing. ‘Anyways’ has also taken on a meaning indicating further movement in a conversation. Slang usage has changed the meaning of the word from how it was originally used in the English language. Because of the popular slang usage of ‘anyways’, it has become considered incorrect English usage to say ‘anyways’. ‘Anyway’ remains the proper and formal way to speak in all settings. Both words originated around the 13th century and were used interchangeably; however, the more common usage of the word is ‘anyway’.
According to the dictionary, there are miniscule differences between ‘anyway’ and ‘anyways’; however, in conversational English, there are many differences. ‘Anyways’ is considered incorrect and should be used as infrequently as possible, while ‘anyway’ is appropriate in both writing and communicating.


1. ‘Anyway’ and ‘anyways’ almost share the same definition and appear next to each other in the dictionary. Both words are considered synonyms of each other.
2. ‘Anyways’ has taken on a slang meaning to indicate further movement in a conversation and for this reason anyways is considered incorrect English. ‘Anyway’ has maintained its definition and is considered correct English.
3. ‘Anyways’ and ‘anyway’ are used interchangeably and have the same meaning.

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  1. Yes anyways is clearly wrong as I can see my spell check underline it.
    This is just another bastardisation of the English language that American massacre regularly.

    Its idiotic and sounds stupid

  2. Anyways has been a thorn in my side for some time now, especially when I hear my own daughter say it–she didn’t learn it from me, and she only started saying it in recent years.

    But, imagine my surprise when I read the article above and then checked in my own dictionaries, an American Heritage and a Webster’s, for anyways. It was there, in both of them! So I stand corrected, but I also stand with the fact that it is slang and incorrect. I am 83 years old and never heard it used until recent years.

    There have been times in conversation that I might hear someone say any ways, but the topic makes it clear that the meaning is any ways, i.e. more than one way.

    My grammar, I’m afraid, is far from perfect, but as I get older, I still find myself becoming more irritated by slang and overused words.

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