few


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few

 (fyo͞o)
adj. few·er, few·est
1. Amounting to or consisting of a small number: one of my few bad habits. See Usage Note at less.
2. Being more than one but indefinitely small in number: bowled a few strings.
n. (used with a pl. verb)
1. An indefinitely small number of persons or things: A few of the books have torn jackets.
2. An exclusive or limited number: the discerning few; the fortunate few.
pron. (used with a pl. verb)
A small number of persons or things: "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14).

[Middle English fewe, from Old English fēawe; see pau- in Indo-European roots.]

few′ness n.

few

(fjuː)
determiner
1.
a. a small number of; hardly any: few men are so cruel.
b. (as pronoun; functioning as plural): many are called but few are chosen.
2. (preceded by a)
a. a small number of: a few drinks.
b. (as pronoun; functioning as plural): a few of you.
3. a good few informal several
4. few and far between
a. at great intervals; widely spaced
b. not abundant; scarce
5. have a few have a few too many to consume several (or too many) alcoholic drinks
6. not a few quite a few informal several
n
the few a small number of people considered as a class: the few who fell at Thermopylae. Compare many4
[Old English fēawa; related to Old High German fao little, Old Norse fār little, silent]
ˈfewness n
Usage: See at less

few

(fyu)

adj. -er, -est,
n., pron. adj.
1. not many but more than one: Few artists live luxuriously.
n.
2. (used with a pl. v.) a small number or amount: Send me a few.
3. the few, a special, limited number; the minority: music that appeals to the few.
pron.
4. (used with a pl. v.) a small number of persons or things.
Idioms:
1. few and far between, placed at widely separated intervals; not plentiful.
2. quite a few, a fairly large number; many.
[before 900; Middle English fewe, fēal; Old English fēawe; c. Old Saxon faho, fā little, Old High German fao, fō, Old Norse fārs, Gothic fawai few]
few′ness, n.

few

a few
1. used in front of nouns

Few and a few are both used in front of nouns, but they do not have the same meaning. You use a few simply to show that you are talking about a small number of people or things.

I'm having a dinner party for a few close friends.
Here are a few ideas that might help you.

When you use few without 'a', you are emphasizing that there are only a small number of people or things of a particular kind. So, for example, if you say 'I have a few friends', you are simply saying that you have some friends. However, if you say 'I have few friends', you are saying that you do not have enough friends and are lonely.

There were few resources available.
2. used as pronouns

Few and a few can be used in a similar way as pronouns.

Doctors work an average of 90 hours a week, while a few work up to 120 hours.
Many were invited but few came.
3. 'not many'

In conversation and in less formal writing, people don't usually use few without 'a'. Instead they use not many. For example, instead of saying 'I have few friends', people usually say 'I haven't got many friends' or 'I don't have many friends'.

They haven't got many books.
I don't have many visitors.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'few' or 'a few' when you are talking about a small amount of something. Don't say, for example, 'Would you like a few more milk in your tea?' You say 'Would you like a little more milk in your tea?'

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.few - a small elite groupfew - a small elite group; "it was designed for the discriminating few"
elite, elite group - a group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual or social or economic status
Adj.1.few - a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `a'; a small but indefinite number; "a few weeks ago"; "a few more wagons than usual"; "an invalid's pleasures are few and far between"; "few roses were still blooming"; "few women have led troops in battle"
fewer - (comparative of `few' used with count nouns) quantifier meaning a smaller number of; "fewer birds came this year"; "the birds are fewer this year"; "fewer trains were late"
some - quantifier; used with either mass nouns or plural count nouns to indicate an unspecified number or quantity; "have some milk"; "some roses were still blooming"; "having some friends over"; "some apples"; "some paper"
many - a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `as' or `too' or `so' or `that'; amounting to a large but indefinite number; "many temptations"; "the temptations are many"; "a good many"; "a great many"; "many directions"; "take as many apples as you like"; "too many clouds to see"; "never saw so many people"

few

determiner
1. not many, one or two, hardly any, scarcely any, rare, thin, scattered, insufficient, scarce, scant, meagre, negligible, sporadic, sparse, infrequent, scanty, inconsiderable In some districts there are few survivors.
not many many, divers (archaic), abundant, plentiful, sundry, manifold, inexhaustible, multifarious, bounteous
pronoun
1. a small number, a handful, a sprinkling, a scattering, some, scarcely any A strict diet is appropriate for only a few.
few and far between scarce, rare, unusual, scattered, irregular, uncommon, in short supply, hard to come by, infrequent, thin on the ground, widely spaced, seldom met with Successful women politicians were few and far between.
Translations
poc
máloněkolikpár
ikke ret mange
malmulta
vähe
harvamuutamavähän
malomalobrojannekolicina
kevés
sedikit
fáir
少しの少数
약간의적은
labai nedaugmažainedaug
biežievery few minutesmaznedaudz
poucospoucas
nekaj
จำนวนน้อยน้อย
az sayıdabirkaç
ítmột vài

few

[fjuː] ADJ & PRON (fewer (compar) (fewest (superl)))
1. (= not many) → pocos/as
few bookspocos libros
few of thempocos (de ellos)
only a fewsólo unos pocos
only a few of them camesólo vinieron unos pocos
there are very few of us; we are very fewsomos muy pocos
few (people) managed to do itmuy pocos consiguieron hacerlo
the few wholos pocos que ...
she is one of the few (people) whoella es una de los pocos que ...
such men are fewhay pocos hombres así
as few as three of themnada más que tres
every few weekscada dos o tres semanas
with few exceptionscon pocas excepciones
they are few and far betweenson contados
the lucky fewunos pocos or unos cuantos afortunados
in or over the next few daysen or durante los próximos días, en estos días (LAm)
in or over the past few daysen or durante los últimos días
the last or remaining few minutesel poco tiempo que queda/quedaba
too fewdemasiado pocos
there were three too fewfaltaban tres
2. (= some, several) a fewalgunos
a good few quite a fewbastantes
a good few or quite a few (people) camevinieron bastantes, vino bastante gente
he'd had a few (drinks)llevaba ya una copa de más
a few morealgunos más
(in) a few more daysdentro de unos pocos días
a few of themalgunos de ellos
quite a few
see a good few

few

[ˈfjuː]
adj
(not many)peu de
few books → peu de livres
as few as → tout au plus
as few as two or three → deux ou trois tout au plus
few in number
They were few in number → Ils étaient peu (nombreux)., Il y en avait peu.
to be few and far between → être rare
They are few and far between → Ils sont rares.
very few (+ noun)très peu de
very few people → très peu de gens
only a few (+ noun)seulement quelques
only a few hours → seulement quelques heures
(= some) a few → quelques
a few hours → quelques heures
in the next few days → dans les jours qui viennent
in the past few days → ces derniers jours
every few days → tous les deux ou trois jours
every few months → tous les deux ou trois mois
a few more ... → encore quelques ..., quelques ... de plus
We waited a few more days → Nous avons attendu encore quelques jours., Nous avons attendu quelques jours de plus.
There were a few more of us at the second meeting → Nous étions quelques uns de plus à la deuxième réunion.
quite a few ..., a good few ... → pas mal de ...
quite a few people → pas mal de monde
not a few ... → bien des ...
every few → tous les deux ou trois
every few minutes → toutes les deux ou trois minutes
pron
(not many)peu
Few succeed → Il y en a peu qui réussissent., (Bien) peu réussissent.
very few → très peu
Very few survive → Très peu survivent.
only a few → quelques-uns seulement(quelques-unes)
"How many?" - "Only a few." → "Combien?" - "Quelques-uns seulement."
A strict diet is appropriate for only a few → Un régime strict est recommandé à quelques-uns seulement.
(= some) a few → quelques-uns(quelques-unes)
"How many apples do you want?" - "A few." → "Tu veux combien de pommes?" - "Quelques-unes."
I know a few → J'en connais quelques-uns.
a few of → quelques-uns des(quelques-unes)
a few of the teachers → quelques-uns des professeurs
a few of us → quelques-uns d'entre nous(quelques-unes)
a few of them → quelques-uns d'entre eux(quelques-unes)
a few more ... → quelques ... de plus
I'd like a few more → J'en voudrais quelques-uns de plus.(quelques-unes)
quite a few, a good few → un bon nombre
"How many?" - "Quite a few." → "Combien?" - "Un bon nombre."
not a few (= people) → pas mal de gens
he's had a few, he's had a few too many (= a lot to drink) → il a pas mal bu

few

adj (+er)
(= not many)wenige; few people come to see himnur wenige Leute besuchen ihn; with few exceptionsmit wenigen Ausnahmen; we are very fewwir sind nur sehr wenige or nur ein kleines Häufchen; few and far betweendünn gesät; as few as ten cigarettes a day can be harmfulschon or bereits zehn Zigaretten am Tag können schädlich sein; as few as six objectionsbloß sechs Einwände, nicht mehr als sechs Einwände; how few they are!wie wenige das sind!; so few booksso wenige Bücher; too few cakeszu wenige Kuchen; there were 3 too fewes waren 3 zu wenig da; 10 would not be too few10 wären nicht zu wenig; he is one of the few people who …er ist einer der wenigen, die …; the exceptions are fewes gibt nur wenige Ausnahmen; such occasions are fewsolche Gelegenheiten sind selten or rar
a fewein paar; a very fewnur ganz wenige; a few more daysnoch ein paar Tage; a few timesein paar Male; there were quite a few waitingziemlich viele warteten; he has quite a few girlfriendser hat eine ganze Menge or ziemlich viele Freundinnen; he’s had a few (too many)er hat einen über den Durst getrunken; quite a few booksziemlich viele Bücher, eine ganze Menge Bücher; I saw a good few or quite a few peopleich habe ziemlich viele Leute or eine ganze Menge Leute gesehen; not a few peoplenicht wenige Leute; we’ll go in a few minuteswir gehen in ein paar Minuten; in the next/past few daysin den nächsten/letzten paar Tagen; every few daysalle paar Tage
pron
(= not many)wenige; few of them camewenige von ihnen kamen; some fewgar nicht so wenige; the Few Kampfflieger, die an der Luftschlacht um England im zweiten Weltkrieg teilnahmen; the lucky fewdie wenigen Glücklichen; opera used to be an experience for the fewOpern waren früher einer privilegierten Minderheit vorbehalten; as few as yougenauso wenig wie du; how few there are!wie wenige das sind!; however few there may bewie wenig auch immer da ist; I’ve got so/too few as it isich habe sowieso schon so/zu wenig(e); so few have been soldso wenige sind bis jetzt verkauft worden; there are too few of youihr seid zu wenige
a fewein paar; I’ll just take a fewich nehme nur ein paar; a few moreein paar mehr; quite a feweine ganze Menge; quite a few did not believe himeine ganze Menge Leute or ziemlich viele Leute glaubten ihm nicht; some feweinige; there are always the few who …es gibt immer einige wenige Leute or ein paar Leute, die …; the few who knew himdie wenigen, die ihn kannten

few

[fjuː] adj (-er (comp) (-est (superl))) pron
a. (not many) → pochi/e
few books → pochi libri
few of them → pochi di loro
few (people) managed to do it → pochi riuscirono a farlo
few succeed → pochi ci riescono
she is one of the few (people) who ... → è una delle poche persone che...
the few who ... → i pochi che...
in or over the past few days → in questi ultimi giorni, negli ultimi giorni
in or over the next few days → nei prossimi giorni
every few days/months → ogni due o tre giorni/mesi
with few exceptions → con or salvo poche eccezioni
every few weeks → a intervalli di qualche settimana
they are few and far between → sono rari
there are very few of us or we are very few → siamo pochi
the last or remaining few minutes → i pochi minuti che rimangono
as few as three of them → solo tre di loro
too few → troppo pochi
there were three too few → ne mancavano tre
b. (some, several) a fewalcuni/e, qualche
a few books → alcuni libri, qualche libro
I know a few → ne conosco alcuni
a few of them → alcuni di loro
a few more days → qualche altro giorno
in a few more days → fra qualche giorno
a good few or quite a few → parecchi
a good few or quite a few books → parecchi libri, un bel po' di libri
a good few or quite a few (people) came → parecchie persone sono venute

few

(fjuː) adjective, pronoun
not many; a very small number of. Few people visit me nowadays; every few minutes (= very frequently); Such opportunities are few.
a few
a small number (emphasizing that there are indeed some). There are a few books in this library about geology; We have only a few left.
few and far between
very few. Interesting jobs are few and far between.

few means `not many'.
a few means `some'.
see also less.

few

بِضْعَة, قَلِيل مِن málo, několik wenige λίγοι, λίγος poco, pocos harva, muutama peu, quelques-uns malobrojan, nekolicina pochi 少しの, 少数 약간의, 적은 een paar, enkele , noen få mało, niewielu poucos некоторые, немногие จำนวนน้อย, น้อย birkaç ít, một vài 不多的, 几乎没有

few

adj (comp less; super least) poco
References in classic literature ?
Her father called her `Little Miss Tranquility', and the name suited her excellently, for she seemed to live in a happy world of her own, only venturing out to meet the few whom she trusted and loved.
Very few letters were written in those hard times that were not touching, especially those which fathers sent home.
Lighting a lamp, Wing Bid- dlebaum washed the few dishes soiled by his simple meal and, setting up a folding cot by the screen door that led to the porch, prepared to undress for the night.
Well, he certainly is having some conversation," reflected Ned, as, after more than five minutes, Tom's ear was still at the receiver of the instrument, into the transmitter of which he had said only a few words.
SEATTLE, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- From air duct cleaning to window tinting, kitchen remodeling to landscape design, homeowners who demand excellent service will find it on the new website Trusted Few.
In fact we have too few of so many things: too few nuclear power stations, too few hospital beds, too few doctors, too few dentists, and so on.
Few grew up in Creswell, and went to school at Oregon, and coached in Eugene, and for the last 20 years he's been turning Gonzaga into a mid-major power (just don't call the 'Zags a mid-major power).
Located just a few minutes by train from Penn Station, the firm sees Newark as potentially a low cost alternative to Manhattan and consequently has packed the building with a collection of amenities on par with some of Manhattan's best new buildings but at half the rents, a level of value that Cogswell believes will be a draw to professionals who might not have previously considered living in the city.
The industry, dominated just a few years ago by a bunch of seemingly loony space cadets with big dreams, is becoming the province of respectable, hardheaded CEOs.
An endless stream of traffic hums in the background as a crowd composed predominately of young street punks and skinheads mill about the sidewalk, saying hello to friends before paying a few pesos to get into the show.
com and they may show up in a the print edition in the next few weeks.
Many people get sick right after they travel, so it is in your family's best interest to take a few precautions.