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I want a non-specific collective noun that simply means: a group of a few things, i.e., can't be applied to two things, and does show a bias in favor of the smallness of the group.
So these are out:

  • herd, army, etc. (specific)
  • duo (two things only)
  • group (two or more, biasless)
  • collection (three or more, biasless)
  • bunch (more than a few)
  • Why do you want such a word? I don't think one exists that meets your criteria - entirely. – Le Sunstrike Oct 22 '15 at 4:43
  • How did you concluded that the mentioned words refer to that no. of items except the first two!!! – Nikita Shrivastava Oct 22 '15 at 5:02
  • @TechieBee By a thorough search through dictionaries and corpora for meanings and collocations and stuff. – Færd Oct 22 '15 at 7:01
  • @Farid I have never came across any specific word for ..two or more..three or more.. Strange !! I cud not understand what do you mean by "can't be applied to two things" – Nikita Shrivastava Oct 22 '15 at 7:12
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Either handful or several.

Several is usually defined as "More than two but not many." Which sounds like exactly what you want.

Handful is looser. It is "few enough to hold in one hand". Though this is just a metaphor. Four cows might be described as a "handful of cows", even though you couldn't fit even one in your hand! I would never use, nor have ever seen, it refer to just a pair of objects.

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  • Handful may be the answer, only if it's not a handful of rice, grain, etc. You can't use it for several grains of rice. About several , The Oxford dictionary and M-W dictionary and several others consider it to be a determiner or a pronoun. Longman dictionary says it's a number of people or things that is more than a few, but not a lot , and I agree that several things are more likely to be more than a few . Nevertheless, these words are certainly useful in this situation. – Færd Oct 27 '15 at 18:41
  • Whatever part of language "several" is declared to be by the dictionary, it is just as easy to say "a bunch of children" as "several children." Whether it's a noun, pronoun or whatever is no inconvenience. – Daron Oct 27 '15 at 22:54

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