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midget

[mij-it]
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noun
  1. (not in technical use) an extremely small person having normal physical proportions.
  2. any animal or thing that is very small for its kind.
adjective
  1. very small or of a class below the usual size.
  2. being a miniature replica or model.

Origin of midget

First recorded in 1850–55; midge + -et
Related formsmidg·et·ism, noun

Synonym study

1. See dwarf.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for midgetism

midget

noun
  1. a dwarf whose skeleton and features are of normal proportions
    1. something small of its kind
    2. (as modifier)a midget car
  2. Canadian an age level of 16 to 17 in amateur sport, esp ice hockey

Word Origin

C19: from midge + -et
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for midgetism

midget

n.

as a type of tiny biting insect, 1839, American English, from midge, perhaps with diminutive suffix -et.

Dr. Webster is in error in saying the word "midge" is "not in use" at the present day. In the neighboring Green mountain districts, one or more most annoying species of Simulium that there abound, are daily designated in common conversation as the midges, or, as the name is often corrupted, the midgets. From Dr. Harris' treatise it appears that the same name is in popular use for the same insects in Maine. The term is limited in this country, we believe, exclusively to those minute insects, smaller than the musketoe, which suck the blood of other animals. ["Transactions of the New-York State Agricultural Society," vol. VI, Albany, 1847]

Transferred sense of "very small person" is attested by 1854. It is also noted mid-19c. as a pet form of Margaret.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

midgetism in Medicine

midget

([object Object])
n.
  1. A person of extremely small stature who is otherwise normally proportioned. Now considered offensive.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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