Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[muhnch-kin] /ˈmʌntʃ kɪn/
noun, (often initial capital letter)
a small person, especially one who is dwarfish or elfin in appearance.
Informal. a child:
The munchkins enjoyed holding and feeding the animals in the petting zoo.
Origin of munchkin
after the Munchkins, a dwarflike race portrayed in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and other fantasy novels Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for munchkin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then he turned to Dorothy and added: "What will become of the munchkin boy?"

    The Patchwork Girl of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • Button-Bright was not quite as big as the munchkin boy, but he wore the same kind of clothes, only they were of different colors.

    The Lost Princess of Oz

    L. Frank Baum
  • "I think I see a boat yonder on the shore," said Ojo the munchkin boy, pointing to a place around the edge 198 of the lake.

    Glinda of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • They live high up on the mountain, and the good munchkin Country, where the fruits and flowers grow, is just the other side.

    The Patchwork Girl of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • Because I eat up all the honey-bees which the munchkin farmers who live around here keep to make them honey.

    The Patchwork Girl of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • So there is little wonder that the pulses of the munchkin boy beat fast as he and his companions stood facing the cave.

    The Patchwork Girl of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • There are two roads of yellow bricks through the munchkin Country, but the one we followed is the best of the two.

    The Patchwork Girl of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • The munchkin boy pointed to some words painted on the wall of rock beside them, which Dorothy had not noticed.

    The Patchwork Girl of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • The munchkin boy has a loyal and generous heart and has done his best to restore Unc Nunkie to life.

    The Patchwork Girl of Oz L. Frank Baum
British Dictionary definitions for munchkin


(informal, mainly US) an undersized person or a child, esp an appealing one
a breed of medium-sized cat with short legs
Word Origin
C20: from the Munchkins, a dwarfish race of people in L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for munchkin



1900, coined by U.S. author L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." He never explained how he got the word. The word most like it is perhaps mutchkin, an old Scottish measure of capacity for liquids, which was used by Scott. (It comes from Middle Dutch mutseken, originally "a little cap," from mutse "cap," earlier almutse "amice, hood, headdress," from Latin amictus "mantle, cloak," noun use of past participle of amicire "to wrap, throw around," a compound from ambi- (see ambi-) + iacere (see jet (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for munchkin



A low-ranking employee, staff member, etc; a menial: Justice Department spokesman Thomas De Cair sniffed that Honegger was ''a low-level Munchkin''/ Most of the munchkins, junior campaign aides, won't make it to the transition staff

[1970s+; fr the name of the dwarfish helpers in L Frank Baum's 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for munchkin

Word Value for munchkin

Scrabble Words With Friends