Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The adjective ολιγος (oligos) means little (when singular) or few (when plural), and is the opposite of πολυς (polus), much or many. It survives in English as part of the many "oligo"-words, of which "oligarchy", a government by few, is probably the best known.
On occasion our adjective is used as adverb (meaning slightly or briefly). Altogether it's used 42 times without much mystery; see full concordance. From it derive:
- Together with the noun πιστις (pistis), faith, or rather sureness: the adjective ολιγοπιστος (oligopistos), meaning having little faith or being little sure. It's used 5 times; see full concordance.
- Together with the noun ψυχη (psuche), breath or soul, or in this context perhaps heart or confidence, from the verb ψυχω (psucho), meaning to breathe: the adjective ολιγοψυχος (oligopsuchos), meaning something like narrow-minded (1 Thessalonians 5:14 only).
- Together with the otherwise unused noun ωρα (ora), heed or care (see a brief discussion of this word in our article on its look-alike ωρα, hora, hour): the verb ολιγωρεω (oligoreo), meaning to give little heed (Hebrews 12:5 only). The opposite, πολυωρια (poluoria), to give much care, isn't used in the New Testament.