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dwarf

[dwawrf]
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noun, plural dwarfs, dwarves.
  1. a person of abnormally small stature owing to a pathological condition, especially one suffering from cretinism or some other disease that produces disproportion or deformation of features and limbs.
  2. an animal or plant much smaller than the average of its kind or species.
  3. (in folklore) a being in the form of a small, often misshapen and ugly, man, usually having magic powers.
  4. Astronomy. dwarf star.
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adjective
  1. of unusually small stature or size; diminutive.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to appear or seem small in size, extent, character, etc., as by being much larger or better: He dwarfed all his rivals in athletic ability.
  2. to make dwarf or dwarfish; prevent the due development of.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become stunted or smaller.
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Origin of dwarf

before 900; Middle English dwerf, Old English dweorh; replacing Middle English dwerg, Old English dweorg; cognate with Old High German twerg, Old Norse dvergr
Related formsdwarf·like, adjectivedwarf·ness, nounun·dwarfed, adjective

Synonyms for dwarf

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Synonym study

1. Dwarf, midget, pygmy are terms for a very small person. A dwarf is someone checked in growth or stunted, or in some way not normally formed. A midget (not in technical use) is someone perfect in form and normal in function, but diminutive. A Pygmy is properly a member of one of certain small-sized peoples of Africa and Asia, but the word is often used imprecisely to mean dwarf or midget. Dwarf is a term often used to describe very small plants. Pygmy is used to describe very small animals.

Antonyms for dwarf

1, 5. giant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dwarfed

hinder, diminish, dominate, overshadow, dim, retard, suppress, lower, belittle, stunt, check, predominate, minify, micrify

Examples from the Web for dwarfed

Contemporary Examples of dwarfed

Historical Examples of dwarfed


British Dictionary definitions for dwarfed

dwarf

noun plural dwarfs or dwarves (dwɔːvz)
  1. an abnormally undersized person, esp one with a large head and short arms and legsCompare midget
    1. an animal or plant much below the average height for the species
    2. (as modifier)a dwarf tree
  2. (in folklore) a small ugly manlike creature, often possessing magical powers
  3. astronomy short for dwarf star
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verb
  1. to become or cause to become comparatively small in size, importance, etc
  2. (tr) to stunt the growth of
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Derived Formsdwarfish, adjectivedwarfishly, adverbdwarfishness, noun

Word Origin for dwarf

Old English dweorg; related to Old Norse dvergr, Old High German twerc
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 dwarfed

dwarf

n.

Old English dweorh, dweorg (West Saxon), duerg (Mercian), "very short human being," from Proto-Germanic *dweraz (cf. Old Frisian dwerch, Old Saxon dwerg, Old High German twerg, German Zwerg, Old Norse dvergr), perhaps from PIE *dhwergwhos "something tiny," but with no established cognates outside Germanic. The mythological sense is 1770, from German (it seems never to have developed independently in English).

Whilst in this and other ways the dwarfs do at times have dealings with mankind, yet on the whole they seem to shrink from man; they give the impression of a downtrodden afflicted race, which is on the point of abandoning its ancient home to new and more powerful invaders. There is stamped on their character something shy and something heathenish, which estranges them from intercourse with christians. They chafe at human faithlessness, which no doubt would primarily mean the apostacy from heathenism. In the poems of the Mid. Ages, Laurin is expressly set before us as a heathen. It goes sorely against the dwarfs to see churches built, bell-ringing ... disturbs their ancient privacy; they also hate the clearing of forests, agriculture, new fangled pounding-machinery for ore. ["Teutonic Mythology," Jacob Grimm, transl. Stallybrass, 1883]

The shift of the Old English guttural at the end of the word to modern -f is typical (cf. enough, draft). Old English plural dweorgas became Middle English dwarrows, later leveled down to dwarfs. The use of dwarves for the legendary race was popularized by J.R.R. Tolkien. As an adjective, from 1590s.

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dwarf

v.

"to render dwarfish," 1620s, from dwarf (n.); sense of "to cause to look small" is from 1850. Related: Dwarfed; dwarfing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dwarfed in Medicine

dwarf

(dwôrf)
n. pl. dwarfs
  1. An abnormally small person, often having limbs and features not properly proportioned or formed.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dwarfed in Science

dwarf

[dwôrf]
  1. An abnormally small person, often having limbs and features atypically proportioned or formed.
  2. An atypically small animal or plant.
  3. A dwarf star or dwarf galaxy.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.