adj. & n.
adj. not many (few doctors smoke; visitors are few).
n. (as pl.) 1 (prec. by a) some but not many (a few words should be added; a few of his friends were there). 2 a small number, not many (many are called but few are chosen). 3 (prec. by the) a the minority. b the elect. 4 (the Few) colloq. the RAF pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain. every few once in every small group of (every few days). few and far between scarce. a good few colloq. a fairly large number. have a few colloq. take several alcoholic drinks. no fewer than as many as (a specified number). not a few a considerable number. some few some but not at all many. fewness n.
[ OE feawe, feawa f. Gmc ]