Dozen vs. Few



A set of twelve.

‘Can I have a dozen eggs, please?’; ‘I ordered two dozen doughnuts.’; ‘There shouldn't be more than two dozen Christmas cards left to write.’; ‘Pack the shirts in dozens, please.’;


(preceded by another determiner) An indefinite, but usually small, number of.

‘I was expecting lots of people at the party, but very few (=almost none) turned up.’; ‘Quite a few of them (=many of them) were pleasantly surprised.’; ‘don't know how many drinks I've had, but I've had a few. [This usage is likely ironic.]’;


A large, unspecified number of, comfortably estimated in small multiples of twelve, thus generally implied to be significantly more than ten or twelve, but less than perhaps one or two hundred; many.

‘There must have been dozens of examples just on the first page.’; ‘There were dozens and dozens of applicants before the job was posted.’;


(used alone) Not many; a small (in comparison with another number stated or implied) but somewhat indefinite number of.

‘There are few people who understand quantum theory.’; ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’;


(metallurgy) An old English measure of ore containing 12 hundredweight.


(US?) Obscuring one eighth to two eighths of the sky.

‘Tonight: A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight.’; ‘NOAA definition of the term "few clouds": An official sky cover classification for aviation weather observations, descriptive of a sky cover of 1/8 to 2/8. This is applied only when obscuring phenomena aloft are present--that is, not when obscuring phenomena are surface-based, such as fog.’;


A collection of twelve objects; a tale or set of twelve; with or without of before the substantive which follows.


(US?) Having a 10 percent chance of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch); used interchangeably with isolated.


An indefinite small number.


Few people, few things.

‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’;


the cardinal number that is the sum of eleven and one


Not many; small, limited, or confined in number; - indicating a small portion of units or individuals constituting a whole; often, by ellipsis of a noun, a few people.

‘Few know and fewer care.’;


denoting a quantity consisting of 12 items or units


an indefinite but relatively small number;

‘they bought a case of beer and drank a few’;


A dozen (commonly abbreviated doz or dz) is a grouping of twelve. The dozen may be one of the earliest primitive integer groupings, perhaps because there are approximately a dozen cycles of the Moon, or months, in a cycle of the Sun, or year.


a small elite group;

‘it was designed for the discriminating few’;


a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `a'; a small but indefinite number;

‘a few weeks ago’; ‘a few more wagons than usual’; ‘an invalid's pleasures are few and far between’; ‘few roses were still blooming’; ‘few women have led troops in battle’;

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