few

[ fyoo ]
/ fyu /

adjective, few·er, few·est.

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

noun

(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.

pronoun

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

Idioms for few

    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

OTHER WORDS FROM few

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

British Dictionary definitions for few and far between

few
/ (fjuː) /

determiner

noun

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

Derived forms of few

fewness, noun

Word Origin for few

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

undefined few

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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 and far between (1 of 2)

few and far between

At wide intervals, scarce, as in Supporters of the amendment are few and far between. This expression originally was used very literally for physical objects such as houses appearing at widely separated intervals. Today it is also used more loosely. [Mid-1600s]

Idioms and Phrases with few and far between (2 of 2)

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.