(UK) The pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain.
- a sprinkling
- a couple
- a minority
- a smattering
- a number that can be counted on one's fingers
- a scattering
- not too many
- not so many as one might expect
- three or four
- hardly any
- scarcely any
- a handful
- a small number
- not many
- a great many
- a multitude
(preceded by another determiner) An indefinite, but usually small, number of.
(used alone) Not many; a small (in comparison with another number stated or implied) but somewhat indefinite number of.
(meteorology, of rainfall with regard to a location) (US?) Having a 10 percent chance of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch); used interchangeably with isolated.
- scarce; rare
- the minority; esp., a small, select group
Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Few
Origin of Few
From Middle English fewe (“few”), from Old English fēawa, fēawe, fēa (“few”), from Proto-Germanic *fawaz (“few”), from Proto-Indo-European *ph₁w- (“few, small”). Cognate with Old Saxon fā (“few”), Old High German fao, fō (“few, little”), Old Norse fár (“few”), Gothic (fawai, “few”), Latin paucus (“little, few”). More at poor.
From a speech by Winston Churchill that included the phrase "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
Middle English fewe from Old English fēawe pau-1 in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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