(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.]’;
Used to show relief, fatigue, or surprise.
‘Phew, that took a long time to define!’;
(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.’;
Used to show disgust.
‘Phew, it stinks in here!’;
(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.’;
expressing a strong reaction of relief, or of disgust at a smell
‘phew, what a year!’;
(US?) Having a 10 percent chance of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch); used interchangeably with isolated.
Few people, few things.
‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’;
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.’;
an indefinite but relatively small number;
‘they bought a case of beer and drank a few’;
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’;