noun, plural dwarfs, dwarves.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of dwarf
Examples from the Web for dwarves
You almost wish Tolkien had stopped with six dwarves [laughs].
Still, we had the 13 dwarves to deal with, but at least in this movie we get to knock a couple off, which is a relief.
“The police were forced into arresting thousands of dwarves,” Flood said.Why the Left Protests Better: A History of ‘Disobedient Objects’|Nico Hines|July 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The “seven dwarves” is a political “diss” from the 1988 Democratic primary.
Smaug, of course, is the dragon who stole the dwarves land from Thorin and his forefathers.‘The Hobbit’: 19 Changes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Novel to Peter Jackson’s Movie|Anna Klassen|December 14, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Dwarves and mine-men went about, unfailingly, with a purseful of gold.Brownies and Bogles|Louise Imogen Guiney
And the dwarves, and fays, and fairies all alike have gone away.
Waving his long arms, he towered over the men milling around him like a giant commanding an army of dwarves.The Saracen: Land of the Infidel|Robert Shea
noun plural dwarfs or dwarves (dwɔːvz)
Word Origin for dwarf
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.
"to render dwarfish," 1620s, from dwarf (n.); sense of "to cause to look small" is from 1850. Related: Dwarfed; dwarfing.