According to Wiktionary, the adjective paucus, although typically found in the plural, with a meaning typically pertaining to quantity, can mean:

1. few, little

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


The usage notes and the inclusion of little in the entry seem to imply that paucus can be used to denote something little, specifically concerning size, but I am extremely doubtful. Thus my question: can paucus be used as an adjective meaning little, specifically with concerns to size?

  • 1
    Dictionary trawl: pauco foramine a little way in front of the doorway (Hyginus Fabulae 194); post paucum tempus a little while after (Art Poet 203); pauco numero tritici small number (African War 67).
    – Hugh
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


Don't read too much into Wiktionary. Lewis and Short translate paucus as "few, little", and the Wiktionary entry was probably pulled from there. All examples in L&S seem to pertain to quantity, and I would assume L&S to mention if it could be used for size as well.

I cannot definitively prove a negative, but paucus doesn't seem to be able to mean "little" in the sense of "small". It only means "little" as a synonym of "few".

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