[ pig-mee ]
/ ˈpɪg mi /

noun, plural Pig·mies, adjective


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Definition for pigmy (2 of 2)


or Pig·my

[ pig-mee ]
/ ˈpɪg mi /

noun, plural Pyg·mies.


(often lowercase) of or relating to the Pygmies.
(lowercase) of very small size, capacity, power, etc.

Origin of Pygmy

1350–1400; Middle English pigmēis, plural of pigmē < Latin Pygmaeus < Greek pygmaîos dwarfish (adj.), Pygmy (noun), equivalent to pygm(ḗ) distance from elbow to knuckles + -aios adj. suffix


pyg·moid, adjectivepyg·my·ish, adjectivepyg·my·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for pigmy

British Dictionary definitions for pigmy (1 of 3)

/ (ˈpɪɡmɪ) /

noun plural -mies

a variant spelling of Pygmy

British Dictionary definitions for pigmy (2 of 3)



/ (ˈpɪɡmɪ) /

noun plural -mies

an abnormally undersized person
something that is a very small example of its type
a person of little importance or significance
(modifier) of very small stature or size

Derived forms of pygmy

pygmaean or pygmean (pɪɡˈmiːən), adjective

Word Origin for pygmy

C14 pigmeis the Pygmies, from Latin Pygmaeus a Pygmy, from Greek pugmaios undersized, from pugmē fist

British Dictionary definitions for pigmy (3 of 3)



/ (ˈpɪɡmɪ) /

noun plural -mies

a member of one of the dwarf peoples of Equatorial Africa, noted for their hunting and forest culture
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

Medical definitions for pigmy

[ pĭgmē ]


An individual of unusually small size.
Pygmy A member of any of various peoples, especially found in equatorial Africa and parts of southeast Asia, having an average height less than 5 feet.


Unusually or atypically small.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for pigmy


A member of any ethnic group in which the average height of the adult male is less than four feet, eleven inches. There are Pygmy tribes in dense rain-forest areas of central Africa, southern India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The most widely studied Pygmies are the Mbuti of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, who pursue a nomadic hunting and gathering subsistence (see nomadism and hunting and gathering societies), but have established complex interdependent relationships with their non-Pygmy farming neighbors.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.