Few Few (f[=u]), a. [Compar. {Fewer} (f[=u]"[~e]r); superl. {Fewest}.] [OE. fewe, feawe, AS. fe['a], pl. fe['a]we; akin to OS. f[=a]h, OHG. f[=o] fao, Icel. f[=a]r, Sw. f[*a], pl., Dan. faa, pl., Goth. faus, L. paucus, cf. Gr. pay^ros. Cf. {Paucity}.] Not many; small, limited, or confined in number; -- indicating a small portion of units or individuals constituting a whole; often, by ellipsis of a noun, a few people. ``Are not my days few?'' --Job x. 20. [1913 Webster]

Few know and fewer care. --Proverb. [1913 Webster]

Note: Few is often used partitively; as, few of them. [1913 Webster]

{A few}, a small number.

{In few}, in a few words; briefly. --Shak.

{No few}, not few; more than a few; many. --Cowper.

{The few}, the minority; -- opposed to the many or the majority. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • few — W1S1 [fju:] determiner, pron, adj comparative fewer superlative fewest [: Old English; Origin: feawa] 1.) [no comparative] a small number of things or people a few ▪ I have to buy a few things at the supermarket. ▪ Pam called to say she s going… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • few — [ fju ] (comparative fewer; superlative fewest) function word, quantifier *** Few can be used in the following ways: as a determiner (followed by a plural noun): Few people live there now. There were a few animals in the barn. as a pronoun: Many… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • few — ► DETERMINER , PRONOUN , & ADJECTIVE 1) (a few) a small number of. 2) not many. ► NOUN (the few) ▪ a select minority. ● few and far between Cf. ↑few and far between …   English terms dictionary

  • few — (adj.) O.E. feawe (plural; contracted to fea) few, seldom, even a little, from P.Gmc. *faw , from PIE root *pau few, little (Cf. L. paucus few, little, paullus little, parvus little, small, pauper poor; Gk. pauros …   Etymology dictionary

  • few — [fyo͞o] adj. [ME fewe < OE feawe, feawa, pl., akin to OFris fē, Goth fawai, pl. < IE base * pōu , small, little > L paucus, Gr pauros, little] not many; a small number of [few seats were left, a few people came] pron. not many; a small… …   English World dictionary

  • FEW — bezeichnet einen 1/8 bis 2/8 bewölkten Himmel, siehe Bewölkung#Einteilung Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch Freiburgische Elektrizitätswerke, siehe Groupe E Frostigs Entwicklungstest der visuellen Wahrnehmung, siehe Marianne Frostig das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • few — 1. Few may be used with or without preceding a, although the sense is slightly different. There were few seats left means there were not many (and is negative in implication), whereas There were a few seats left means that some were still left… …   Modern English usage

  • few — [adj] hardly any exiguous, few and far between*, imperceptible, inconsequential, inconsiderable, infrequent, insufficient, lean, less, meager, middling, minor, minority, minute, negligible, not many, not too many*, occasional, paltry, petty,… …   New thesaurus

  • few — index deficient, infrequent, scarce, several (plural) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • few */*/*/ — UK [fjuː] / US [fju] determiner, pronoun Word forms few : comparative fewer superlative fewest Summary: Few can be used in the following ways: as a determiner (followed by a plural noun): Few people live there now. ♦ There were a few animals in… …   English dictionary

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