\ ˈfyü \

Definition of few 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: not many persons or things few were present few of his stories are true

few

adjective

Definition of few (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : consisting of or amounting to only a small number one of our few pleasures

2 : at least some but indeterminately small in number used with a caught a few fish

few and far between

: few in number and infrequently met : rare

Definition of few (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a small number of units or individuals a few of them

2 : a special limited number the discriminating few

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Other words from few

Adjective

fewness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for few

Synonyms: Noun, plural in construction

couple, handful, scatter, scattering, smatter, smattering, sprinkle, sprinkling

Antonyms: Noun, plural in construction

army, crowd, flock, horde, host, legion, loads, many, mountain, multitude, oodles, scads

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Examples of few in a Sentence

Adjective

He caught fewer fish than the rest of us. There are fewer children at the school this year. Not many people came, but the few people who did enjoyed themselves.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There are a few simple ways to minimize these risks, according to the CPSC. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Emergency Responders Share 9 of the Biggest Death Traps in Your Home," 14 July 2018 The earth’s surface drops, usually a few inches a year. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 The leadership of both FCA and the union have denied the case was indicative of widespread corruption, saying it was instead limited to a few bad actors. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Widow of UAW VP Holiefield gets 18 months in federal corruption case," 13 July 2018 The majority of them are free, and a few charge minimal materials fee. Julia Lyon, Washington Post, "People are waiting in line. Is it Hamilton? No, it’s Bob Ross on YouTube.," 13 July 2018 There are a few moderately steep pitches, but that only sweetens the deal. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "10 best hikes in Arizona show off state's diverse scenery," 13 July 2018 One by one, the tappers to my left and right trade their coffees for beer — Orson’s has a few on draft (Modern Times, Fieldwork), plus cans and bottles from the likes of Prairie and To Øl — then return to their keyboards. Maggie Hoffman, SFChronicle.com, "Finding love at Orson’s Belly in the Richmond," 12 July 2018 Many produced brief heavy rains and lightning, and a few even dropped some small hail. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Hail in July? Scattered heavy storms pack a punch across North Texas," 12 July 2018 While replays have reversed a few bad decisions, the outcome has been largely disappointing. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Hello, Wisconsin," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in construction

Musicians, artists and stars from the Nollywood film industry drank champagne with government dignitaries, few of whom had ever visited the club. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron pays tribute to Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician," 5 July 2018 But Atul Gawande is one of the special few who sees the whole in the parts. Clifton Leaf, Fortune, "Why Atul Gawande Is the Perfect Choice to Lead the Amazon, Berkshire, and JPMorgan Health Venture," 20 June 2018 Only a relative few of Texas’ million-plus hunters could be expected to take advantage of the opportunity to use air guns or air bows. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "TPW Commission reconsidering its approval of air-powered guns, bows," 6 May 2018 Some teams are feared, others respected, but precious few are loved. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 9 Days to Go - What if Paolo Rossi Had Still Been Banned?," 5 June 2018 Imagine a teenager attending a high school where few of his peers make it to graduation, much less college. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "When Disadvantaged Students Overlook Elite Colleges," 18 Apr. 2018 The Trump administration is a haven for big spenders, few of whom seem to see a contradiction with their expressed opposition to government waste or the perils of Big Government. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "Shocker: Ben Carson Lied About Picking Out That $31,000 Dining Set for His Office," 14 Mar. 2018 The Rockets' nine attempts from the 3-point line were three shy of their previous few of the season. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets' winning streak ends at 17 games with loss to Raptors," 10 Mar. 2018 Changing golf for the masses because a small few who play it a different level is wrong. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Pro golfer slams USGA over possible distance reduction: They 'have it wrong'," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'few.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of few

Pronoun, plural in construction

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun, plural in construction

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for few

Pronoun, plural in construction

Middle English fewe, pronoun & adjective, from Old English fēawa; akin to Old High German little, Latin paucus little, pauper poor, Greek paid-, pais child, Sanskrit putra son

Adjective

see few entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near few

fevertwig

feverweed

feverwort

few

fewer

few if any

fewmet

Statistics for few

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for few

The first known use of few was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for few

few

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of few

: not many

: not many but some

few

pronoun
\ ˈfyü \

Kids Definition of few

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not many people or things Few were prepared to perform.

few

adjective
fewer; fewest

Kids Definition of few (Entry 2 of 3)

: not many but some I caught a few fish. They had few complaints.

few

noun

Kids Definition of few (Entry 3 of 3)

: a small number of people or things A few of the students are new.

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Comments on few

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