precious few

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precious few

 and precious little
very few; very little. (Few for people or things that can be counted, and little for amounts.) We get precious few tourists here in the winter. There's precious little food in the house and there is no money.
See also: few, precious

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.
See also: few, precious
References in periodicals archive ?
The giant van der Voort has gone on to make finals and earn stacks of cash while van Gerwen, despite being hyped to the hilt, has done precious little.
The billions he has poured into the banking system may have been necessary, but we can see precious little evidence that many jobs have been directly secured or created as a result - even though the consequences of a major bank crash may be too horrific to contemplate.
Sadly there is precious little prestige for we British to remain proud of today.
And even since that period ended there's been subjugation by other means, leaving many Islamic countries precious little nourishment for their self-respect.
The clock is running on Nineveh, and the people have precious little time to repent before the entire city will be destroyed.
For another, the President has said precious little on what he believes a "reformed" Tax Code should look like, and hence, little effort has been expended to mobilize key constituencies (such as particular industries) to embrace tax reform.
So Hakim stood his ground, not budging on the new constitution, which gives the Shiites enormous power in the south, the Kurds enormous power in the north, and the Sunnis precious little.
Some Democrats are trying to attract a bigger share of K Street's attention despite having precious little of the only currency K Street recognizes: power.
Somehow there is endless space caught up among those branches but precious little around them.
Yes, there is one document called the Constitution--but we would be foolish to pretend that there are not two radically different views of that document and precious little common ground between them.
Agencies that serve abused children hold bake sales to fund their centers, five in fear every year of appropriated funds being cut and losing their jobs, work 60 hours a week while being paid for 30, and carry the sorrow of the bruised and battered bodies of these precious little children so that the rest of society can sleep soundly at night.
There is precious little that can be done to increase the archipelago's land mass, and the government, through a combination of tax reform and carefully targeted infrastructure investment, can do little to leverage real estate spending in order to help lead the country out of its economic malaise.
As one arts leader said recently, "In a business where there is precious little 'fat' to cut (if any), we're moving beyond cutting to the bone to lopping off limbs.