Few meaning

fyo͝o
Frequency:
Few is defined as not many.

An example of few is when only a couple of people went to the party, few went to the party.

pronoun
13
5
The definition of few is a small number of something.

An example of few is three long stemmed roses.

adjective
8
2
Amounting to or consisting of a small number.

One of my few bad habits.

adjective
5
1
Being more than one but indefinitely small in number.

Bowled a few strings.

adjective
5
1
An indefinitely small number of persons or things.

A few of the books have torn jackets.

noun
4
1
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(preceded by another determiner) An indefinite, but usually small, number of.

I was expecting lots of people at the party, but very few (=almost none) turned up. Quite a few of them (=many of them) were pleasantly surprised. I don't know how many drinks I've had, but I've had a few. [This usage is likely ironic.]

determiner
2
0
An exclusive or limited number.

The discerning few; the fortunate few.

noun
1
0
A small number of persons or things.
pronoun
1
0
Not many; a small number of.

Few seats were left, a few people came.

adjective
1
0
(used alone) Not many; a small (in comparison with another number stated or implied) but somewhat indefinite number of.

There are few people who understand quantum theory. Many are called, but few are chosen.

determiner
0
0
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(meteorology, of clouds) (US?) Obscuring one eighth to two eighths of the sky.

Tonight: A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight.

NOAA definition of the term "few clouds": An official sky cover classification for aviation weather observations, descriptive of a sky cover of 1/8 to 2/8. This is applied only when obscuring phenomenon aloft are present--that is, not when obscuring phenomenon are surface-based, such as fog.

determiner
0
0
(meteorology, of rainfall with regard to a location) (US?) Having a 10 percent chance of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch); used interchangeably with isolated.
determiner
0
0
Few people, few things.

Many are called, but few are chosen.

pronoun
0
0
(UK) The pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain.
pronoun
0
0
Not many; a small number.

Many left, few stayed; a few of the men are wearing hats.

pronoun
0
1
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few and far between
  • scarce; rare
idiom
0
0
the few
  • the minority; esp., a small, select group
idiom
0
0

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of few

  • Middle English fewe from Old English fēawe pau-1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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 (“few”), Old High German fao, fō (“few, little”), Old Norse fár (“few”), Gothic (fawai, “few”), Latin paucus (“little, few”). More at poor.

    From Wiktionary

  • 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."

    From Wiktionary