- (in folklore) one of a species of diminutive beings, usually described as shriveled little old men, that inhabit the interior of the earth and act as guardians of its treasures; troll.
- an expert in monetary or financial affairs; international banker or financier: the gnomes of Zurich.
Origin of gnome1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a short, pithy expression of a general truth; aphorism.
Origin of gnome2
Examples from the Web for gnome
Strong: Was the gnome in Project X based on our experience taking a gnome across Europe?‘Game Change’ and ‘21 Jump Street’: Screenwriters Danny Strong and Michael Bacall on Writing
Michael Bacall, Danny Strong
March 9, 2012
Then poor Bornier, who resembled a Breton gnome, came up to me.
It was the unlucky boat, the boat that was haunted by the gnome.
"It's like a fairy-tale, and going into the gnome's hill," fluttered Magsie.A harum-scarum schoolgirl
The gnome picked up my bag, but was interrupted by my new friend.Desert Dust
Edwin L. Sabin
"Well, you wait and see what sort of a bubble I'll blow," replied the Gnome.The Magic Soap Bubble
- one of a species of legendary creatures, usually resembling small misshapen old men, said to live in the depths of the earth and guard buried treasure
- the statue of a gnome, esp in a garden
- a very small or ugly person
- facetious, or derogatory an international banker or financier (esp in the phrase gnomes of Zürich)
- a short pithy saying or maxim expressing a general truth or principle
Word Origin and History for gnome
"dwarf-like earth-dwelling spirit," 1712, from French gnome, from Modern Latin gnomus, used 16c. in a treatise by Paracelsus, who gave the name pigmaei or gnomi to elemental earth beings, possibly from Greek *genomos "earth-dweller" (cf. thalassonomos "inhabitant of the sea"). A less-likely suggestion is that Paracelsus based it on the homonym that means "intelligence" (preserved in gnomic). Popular in children's literature 19c. as a name for red-capped German and Swiss folklore dwarfs. Garden figurines first imported to England late 1860s from Germany.