adjective & pronoun
- 2used to emphasize how small a number of people or things is: [as adjective]:he had few friends [as pronoun]:few thought to challenge these assumptions very few of the titles have any literary merit one of the few who survived [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; 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; fewer than ten contestants). Less, on the other hand, is used with mass nouns, denoting things that cannot be counted (less money; less music). In addition, less is normally used with numbers (less than 10,000) and with expressions of measurement or time (less than two weeks; less than four miles away). But to use less with count nouns, as in less people or less words, is incorrect in standard English.