precious few

Idioms & Phrases

precious few

Also, precious little. Very few, very little, as in There are precious few leaves left on the trees, or We have precious little fuel left. In these idioms precious serves as an intensive, a colloquial usage dating from the first half of the 1800s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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