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Many vs. Few

Many and Few Definitions

Many

Amounting to or consisting of a large indefinite number
Many friends.

Few

Amounting to or consisting of a small number
One of my few bad habits. See Usage Note at less.

Many

Being one of a large indefinite number; numerous
Many a child.
Many another day.

Few

Being more than one but indefinitely small in number
Bowled a few strings.

Many

The majority of the people; the masses
"The many fail, the one succeeds" (Tennyson).

Few

An indefinitely small number of persons or things
A few of the books have torn jackets.
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Many

A large indefinite number
A good many of the workers had the flu.

Few

An exclusive or limited number
The discerning few.
The fortunate few.

Many

An indefinite large number of.
Not many such people enjoyed playing chess.
There are very many different ways to cook a meal.

Few

(preceded by another determiner) An indefinite, but usually small, number of.
There are a few cars (=some, but a relatively small number) in the street.
Quite a few people (=a significant number) were pleasantly surprised.
I think he's had a few drinks. [This usage is likely ironic.]

Many

(in combinations such as 'as many', 'so many', 'this many') Used to indicate, demonstrate or compare the number of people or things.
We don't need this many bananas. Put some back.
There may be as many as ten million species of insect.
I don't have as many friends as my sister does.

Few

(used alone) Not many; a small (in comparison with another number stated or implied) but somewhat indefinite number of.
There are very few people who understand quantum theory.
I was expecting a big crowd at the party, but very few people (=almost none) turned up.
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Many

An indefinite large number of people or things.
Many are called, but few are chosen.

Few

Obscuring one to two oktas (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.

Many

A multitude; a great aggregate; a mass of people; the generality; the common herd.
Democracy must balance the rights of the few against the will of the many.

Few

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

Many

A considerable number.

Few

Few people, few things.
Many are called, but few are chosen.
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Many

Existing in large number; numerous.

Few

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.

Many

A retinue of servants; a household.

Few

An indefinite but relatively small number;
They bought a case of beer and drank a few

Many

The populace; the common people; the majority of people, or of a community.
After him the rascal many ran.

Few

A small elite group;
It was designed for the discriminating few

Many

A large or considerable number.
A many of our bodies shall no doubtFind native graves.
Seeing a great many in rich gowns.
It will be concluded by many that he lived like an honest man.
He is liable to a great many inconveniences.

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

Many

Consisting of a great number; numerous; not few.
Thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

Many

A quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `as' or `too' or `so' or `that'; amounting to a large but indefinite number;
Many temptations
The temptations are many
A good many
A great many
Many directions
Take as many apples as you like
Too many clouds to see
Never saw so many people

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