Meaning of “few” in the English Dictionary

"few" in English

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fewdeterminer, pronoun

uk /fjuː/ us /fjuː/

few determiner, pronoun (SOME)

a few

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A2 some, or a small number of something:

I need to get a few things in town.
There are a few slices of cake left over from the party.
We've been having a few problems with the new computer.
If you can't fit all the bags in your car, I can take a few in mine.
"How many potatoes do you want?" "Oh, just a few, please."
Note: A few is used with countable nouns. Compare small.

A2 used in expressions such as "quite a few" to mean "quite a large number":

I know quite a few people who have had the same problem.
Lots of people at the club are under 20, but there are quite a few who aren't.

fewdeterminer, pronoun, noun, adjective

uk /fjuː/ us /fjuː/

few determiner, pronoun, noun, adjective (NOT MANY)

B1 a small number or not many:

It was embarrassing how few people attended the party.
He is among the few people I can trust.
Very few people can afford to pay those prices.
Few of the children can read or write yet.
Few things in this world give me more pleasure than a long bath.
We get few complaints.
According to the survey, as few as ten percent of us are happy with our jobs.
The benefits of the planned changes are few.

B1 a smaller number:

Fewer people smoke these days than used to.
Fewer than 3,500 tigers are left in the wild today.
Note: Few is used with countable nouns.
few and far between

C2 not happening or existing very often:

Apartments that are both comfortable and reasonably priced are few and far between.

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(Definition of “few” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"few" in American English

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fewadjective, pronoun, noun

us /fju/

a small number, not many, or not enough (of something):

He is one of the few (people) I can trust to keep a secret.
a few

A few means a small number of:

I’m going to the supermarket to get a few things.
We’ve been having a few problems with the new computer.
"How many tomatoes do we need?" "Just a few."

(Definition of “few” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)