a few


A small number of persons or things. This phrase can differ slightly from few used alone, which means “not many.” For example, The party was to end at eight, but a few stayed on indicates that a small number of guests remained, whereas The party began at eight, and few attended means that hardly any guests came. [Late 1200s] Also see quite a bit (few).

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.