From Middle English fewe, from Old English fēaw (“few”), from Proto-Germanic *fawaz (“few”), from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂w- (“few, small”). Cognate with Old Saxon fā (“few”), Old High German fao, fō (“few, little”), Old Norse fár (“few”), Gothic ???? (faus, “few”), Latin paucus (“little, few”) (whence English pauper, poor etc.). More at poor.
few (comparative fewer or less, superlative fewest or least)
- (preceded by another determiner) An indefinite, but usually small, number of.
- (used alone) Not many; a small (in comparison with another number stated or implied) but somewhat indefinite number of.
- (meteorology, of clouds) (US?) Obscuring one eighth to two eighths of the sky.
- (meteorology, of rainfall with regard to a location) (US?) Having a 10 percent chance of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch); used interchangeably with isolated.
- Few people, few things.