[ fyoo ]
/ fyu /

adjective, few·er, few·est.

not many but more than one: Few artists live luxuriously.


(used with a plural verb) a small number or amount: Send me a few.
the few, a special, limited number; the minority: That music appeals to the few.


(used with a plural verb) a small number of persons or things: A dozen people volunteered, but few have shown up.


    few and far between, at widely separated intervals; infrequent: In Nevada the towns are few and far between.
    quite a few, a fairly large number; many: There were quite a few interesting things to do.

Origin of few

before 900; Middle English fewe, Old English fēawe; cognate with Gothic fawai; akin to Latin paucus few, paulus little, pauper poor, Greek paûros little, few

Related forms

o·ver·few, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for few

British Dictionary definitions for few


/ (fjuː) /



the few a small number of people considered as a classthe few who fell at Thermopylae Compare many (def. 4)

Derived Forms

fewness, noun

Word Origin for few

Old English fēawa; related to Old High German fao little, Old Norse fār little, silent


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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

Idioms and Phrases with few


In addition to the idioms beginning with few

  • few and far between
  • few bricks shy of a load
  • few words

also see:

  • a few
  • bricks shy of a load, (a few)
  • of few words
  • precious few
  • quite a bit (few)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.