[ fyoo-er ]
/ ˈfyu ər /


of a smaller number: fewer words and more action.


(used with a plural verb) a smaller number: Fewer have come than we hoped.

Origin of fewer

Middle English fewere, Old English *fēawran. See few, -er4
Can be confusedfewer less (see usage note at less)

Usage note

See less.

Definition for fewer (2 of 2)


[ 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.

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

Examples from the Web for fewer

British Dictionary definitions for fewer


/ (fjuː) /



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

Word Origin for few

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


See less
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

Word Origin and History for fewer


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fewer


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.