Meaning of FEW in English

FEW

■ determiner , pronoun , & adjective

1》 ( a ~ ) a small number of.

2》 not many.

■ noun [as pluralnoun the ~ ] a select minority.

↘( the Few ) Brit. the RAF pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain.

Phrases

~ and far between scarce.

a good ~ Brit. a fairly large number of.

no ~er than a surprisingly large number of.

not a ~ a considerable number.

quite a ~ a fairly large number.

some ~ some but not many.

Origin

OE fēawe , fēawa , of Gmc origin.

Usage

Fewer , the comparative form of ~ , is correctly used with words denoting people or countable things, while less is used with mass nouns, denoting things which cannot be counted. In addition, less is normally used with numbers and expressions of measurement or time. The use of less with a count noun ( less people ) is incorrect in standard English.

Concise Oxford English vocab.      Сжатый оксфордский словарь английского языка.