adjective, few·er, few·est.
Origin of few
Related Words for fewseveral, some, petty, minority, less, scanty, slight, lean, middling, short, minute, scattering, minor, trifling, sprinkling, smattering, exiguous, imperceptible, inconsequential
Examples from the Web for few
Contemporary Examples of few
A few days later, Bush replied, “We will uphold the law in Florida.”
Like many Americans—but few Republican presidential candidates—the former Florida governor has evolved on the issue.
Sputtering, I manage a few “hut-hut-huts” with the other students.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze
January 9, 2015
We do see that a few European countries have them on the books: Germany, Poland, Italy, Ireland, a couple more.In Defense of Blasphemy
January 9, 2015
So it might be me projecting my desires onto Archer to want to just get away from work for a few weeks.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS
January 8, 2015
Historical Examples of few
They were both silent for a few moments; and Eudora's countenance was troubled.
Here we see but a few of the last links, and those imperfectly.
So small was it that to have gone a few feet to either side would have been to miss it.
I shall be staying with Aunt Cornelia a few days after to-morrow.
Or, if I'd only got tied up in some way for a few weeks—something I could tide over.
- a small number of; hardly anyfew men are so cruel
- (as pronoun; functioning as plural)many are called but few are chosen
- a small number ofa few drinks
- (as pronoun; functioning as plural)a few of you
- at great intervals; widely spaced
- not abundant; scarce
Word Origin for few
Old English feawe (plural; contracted to fea) "few, seldom, even a little," from Proto-Germanic *faw-, from PIE root *pau- (1) "few, little" (cf. Latin paucus "few, little," paullus "little," parvus "little, small," pauper "poor;" Greek pauros "few, little," pais (genitive paidos) "child;" Latin puer "child, boy," pullus "young animal;" Oscan puklu "child;" Sanskrit potah "a young animal," putrah "son;" Old English fola "young horse;" Old Norse fylja "young female horse;" Old Church Slavonic puta "bird;" Lithuanian putytis "young animal, young bird"). Always plural in Old English.
Phrase few and far between attested from 1660s. Unusual ironic use in quite a few "many" (1883), earlier a good few (1828). The noun is late 12c., fewe, from the adjective.
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. [Winston Churchill, 1940]
In addition to the idioms beginning with few
- few and far between
- few bricks shy of a load
- few words
- a few
- bricks shy of a load, (a few)
- of few words
- precious few
- quite a bit (few)