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few / fyoō/ • adj. & pron. 1. (a few) a small number of: [as adj.] may I ask a few questions? [as pron.] I will recount a few of the stories told me. 2. used to emphasize how small a number of people or things is: [as adj.] he had few friends [as pron.] few thought to challenge these assumptions one of the few who survived [comparative] a population of fewer than two million. • n. [as pl. n.] (the few) the minority of people; the elect: a world that increasingly belongs to the few. PHRASES: every few once in every small group of (typically units of time): she visits every few weeks. few and far between scarce; infrequent: my inspired moments are few and far between. no fewer than used to emphasize a surprisingly large number: there are no fewer than seventy different brand names. not a few a considerable number: his fiction has caused not a few readers to see red. quite a few a fairly large number: quite a few people can do it. ORIGIN: Old English fēawe, fēawa; from an Indo-European root shared by Latin paucus and Greek pauros ‘small.’

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