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Pygmy

or Pig·my

[ pig-mee ]
/ ˈpɪg mi /
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noun, plural Pyg·mies.

adjective

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

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Origin of Pygmy

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English pigmēis, plural of pigmē, from Latin Pygmaeus, from Greek pygmaîos “dwarfish” (adjective), Pygmy (noun), equivalent to pyg(mḗ)) “distance from elbow to knuckles” + -aios adjective suffix
2. See dwarf.
pygmoid, adjectivepyg·my·ish, adjectivepyg·my·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for Pygmy (1 of 2)

pygmy

pigmy

/ (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
pygmaean or pygmean (pɪɡˈmiːən), adjective
C14 pigmeis the Pygmies, from Latin Pygmaeus a Pygmy, from Greek pugmaios undersized, from pugmē fist

British Dictionary definitions for Pygmy (2 of 2)

Pygmy

Pigmy

/ (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 Pygmy

pygmy
[ pĭgmē ]

n.

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.

adj.

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 Pygmy

Pygmy

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.
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