few

1 of 3

pronoun

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

few

2 of 3

adjective

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
fewness noun

few

3 of 3

noun

plural in construction
1
: a small number of units or individuals
a few of them
2
: a special limited number
the discriminating few
Phrases
few and far between
: few in number and infrequently met : rare

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. Noun a few of the songs on the album are good, but most are forgettable
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
In addition to her long list of acting roles, Awkwafina has done a ton of voice work, including Raya and the Last Dragon, The Little Mermaid, Migration and Kung Fu Panda 4, just to name a few. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 17 May 2024 This week, Billboard’s New Music Latin roundup and playlist — curated by Billboard Latin and Billboard Español editors — features fresh new albums from artists such as Luis Fonsi, Nora Gonzalez, and LAGOS, to name a few. Luisa Calle, Billboard, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for few 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'few.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Pronoun 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

First Known Use

Pronoun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

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

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near few

Cite this Entry

“Few.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/few. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

few

1 of 3 pronoun
: not many persons or things
used in plural
few were present

few

2 of 3 adjective
1
: amounting to only a small number
one of the few sports I play
2
: not many but some
caught a few fish
fewness noun

few

3 of 3 noun
1
: a small number of units or individuals
a few of them
2
: a special limited number
the select few

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