precious few

Also, precious little. Very few, very little, as in There are precious few leaves left on the trees, or We have precious little fuel left. In these idioms precious serves as an intensive, a colloquial usage dating from the first half of the 1800s.

Words Nearby precious few

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

How to use precious few in a sentence

  • Business men and some professional are the only ones that forge steadily ahead; with precious few exceptions.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
  • He would not like his guests to feel bored at losing one of their precious few-and-far-between holidays.

    The Girls of St. Olave's | Mabel Mackintosh
  • Yes; I rather flatter myself there are precious few of my Contemporaries who care about my Work!

  • And as for leasing—leasing land they virtually own—no, there's precious few are doing that, thank God!

    The Octopus | Frank Norris
  • precious few new boarders come, and a good many of the old ones quit.

    The Depot Master | Joseph C. Lincoln