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From Proto-Italic *paukos, from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂u-kos, from *peh₂w- (few, small) + *-kos (whence -cus). See also Old Saxon (few), Old High German fao, fō (few, little), Old Norse fár (few), Gothic 𐍆𐌰𐌿𐍃 (faus, few) for the former element.



paucus (feminine pauca, neuter paucum, comparative paucior, superlative paucissimus); first/second-declension adjective

  1. few, little
    Synonyms: modicus, parcus, perpaucus
    Antonym: nimius

Usage notes[edit]

  • Usually plural; very rare in the singular. Mostly pertaining to quantity.


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative paucus pauca paucum paucī paucae pauca
Genitive paucī paucae paucī paucōrum paucārum paucōrum
Dative paucō paucō paucīs
Accusative paucum paucam paucum paucōs paucās pauca
Ablative paucō paucā paucō paucīs
Vocative pauce pauca paucum paucī paucae pauca

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • ⇒ Balkan Romance: (possibly)
    • Aromanian: putsãn
    • Romanian: puțin
  • Dalmatian:
  • Italo-Romance:
  • North Italian:
  • Gallo-Romance:
    • Franco-Provençal: pou
    • French: peu
  • Occitano-Romance:
  • Ibero-Romance:
  • Insular Romance:
    • Sardinian: pacu (Nuorese), pagu (Logudorese, Campidanese)
  • Ancient borrowings:
    • Albanian: pak
  • Later borrowings:
    • English: pauce (archaic)


  • paucus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • paucus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • paucus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette, page 1,127/1
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to give some one a few days for reflection: paucorum dierum spatium ad deliberandum dare
    • the addition of a few years: accessio paucorum annorum
    • to choose one from a large number of instances: ex infinita exemplorum copia unum (pauca) sumere, decerpere (eligere)
    • to give a brief exposition of the geography of Africa: Africae situm paucis exponere
    • to explain a matter briefly, in a few words (not paucis verbis): breviter, paucis explicare aliquid
    • to explain a matter briefly, in a few words (not paucis verbis): rem paucis absolvere (Sall. Iug. 17. 2)
    • to say only a few words: pauca dicere (pauca verba dicere only of the orator)
    • to be satisfied with a little: paucis, parvo contentum esse
    • a word with you: paucis te volo
    • oligarchy: paucorum dominatio or potentia
    • to obtain many (few) votes in a century or tribe: multa (pauca) puncta in centuria (tribu) aliqua ferre
    • in short; to be brief: ut paucis (rem) absolvam
    • in short; to be brief: ut paucis (brevi, breviter) complectar
  • paucus” on page 1,312 of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (1st ed., 1968–82)