determiner , pronoun , & adjective
- 2used to emphasize how small a number of people or things is: [as determiner]:he had few friends [as pronoun]:few thought to challenge these assumptions very few of the titles have any literary merit a club with as few as 20 members [comparative]:a population of fewer than two million [as adjective]:sewing was one of her few pleasures [superlative]:ask which products have the fewest complaints
noun(as plural noun the few)
Old English fēawe, fēawa, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German fao, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin paucus and Greek pauros 'small'
Fewer versus less: strictly speaking, the rule is that fewer, the comparative form of few, is used with words denoting people or countable things (fewer members; fewer books). Less, on the other hand, is used with mass nouns, denoting things which cannot be counted (less money; less bother). It is regarded as incorrect in standard English to use less with count nouns, as in less people or less words, although this is one of the most widespread errors made by native speakers. It is not so obvious which word should be used with than. Less is normally used with numerals (a score of less than 100) and with expressions of measurement or time (less than two weeks; less than four miles away), but fewer is used if the things denoted by the number are seen as individual items or units (there were fewer than ten contestants).