\ ˈfyü How to pronounce few (audio) \

Definition of few

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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



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


fewness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for few

Synonyms: Noun, plural in construction

Antonyms: Noun, plural in construction

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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 Based on a walk down the first base concourse, only a few people were masked. BostonGlobe.com, 29 May 2021 With very few exceptions, everyone wants to succeed and satisfy their teammates, managers, and customers. Nell Derick Debevoise, Forbes, 29 May 2021 Post and her fiancé decided to reschedule their party for 2021 and hold a small ceremony in May 2020, with only a few friends and family members present and everyone distanced. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 29 May 2021 With few exceptions for drivers born into legacy families, pursuing a career in racing is as much about sponsorship, cash and connections as talent, and the hustle is part of the job. Dan Gelston, Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 Generations had been raised to think that America never lost a war and that American presidents were, with a few exceptions, pillars of righteousness. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 Many of the young players from 2019 are still here, and only a few are better. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, 27 May 2021 Mental health holds: Wisconsin is one of only a few states in which police officers are the only first responders under state law who can detain adults suffering from a mental health crisis and take them to the psychiatric emergency room. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 May 2021 Tether doesn’t do business in the U.S., with a few exceptions, and agreed in its February settlement not to take on customers in New York. James Mackintosh, WSJ, 27 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in construction The combo pairs late-season heli-skiing with fishing for king salmon, an impressive Alaska double few can claim to have pulled off. Mike Campbell, Anchorage Daily News, 28 May 2020 Only a small portion of COVID-19 patients get sick enough to require ventilation—but for the unlucky few who do, data out of China and New York City suggest upward of 80% do not recover. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 16 Apr. 2020 According to the Pew Research Center, more than 70 percent of Polish citizens held a favorable few of the E.U. last year, compared to 48 percent in the United Kingdom. Washington Post, 18 Dec. 2019 Until Kansas City’s famed stockyards closed down in 1991, the city was pretty much wall-to-wall cows and pigs, few of whom were housebroken. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, 22 Jan. 2020 In 2015, when the party came to power, migrants — few of whom were actually trying to enter Poland — were made targets. Marc Santora, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2019 But while most interior design professionals are familiar with the concept of biophilic design, many only recognize a limited few of the countless ways it can be implemented. Michelle Beganskas, Quartz, 3 Dec. 2019 This information did not leak until 2009 and there were few who allowed it to tarnish memories of the Sox’ magical championships of 2004 and 2007. BostonGlobe.com, 16 Nov. 2019 There were few of the latter, sung by Moctar, second guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane and, occasionally, bassist-producer Michael Coltun. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2019

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


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 and Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for few

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for few

Cite this Entry

“Few.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/few. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for few



English Language Learners Definition of few

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not many people or things
: some people or things
: a small number of people or things that are chosen or regarded as special or unusual in some way



English Language Learners Definition of few (Entry 2 of 2)

: not many
: not many but some


\ ˈfyü How to pronounce few (audio) \

Kids Definition of few

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


fewer; fewest

Kids Definition of few (Entry 2 of 3)

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



Kids Definition of few (Entry 3 of 3)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on few

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for few

Nglish: Translation of few for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of few for Arabic Speakers


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