pygmy

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Pyg·my

also Pig·my (pĭg′mē)
n. pl. Pyg·mies also Pig·mies
1. Greek Mythology A member of a race of dwarfs.
2. also pygmy A member of any of various peoples, especially of equatorial Africa and parts of Southeast Asia, having an average height less than 5 feet (1.5 meters).
3. pygmy
a. An individual of unusually small size.
b. An individual considered to be of little or no importance: political pygmies.
adj.
1. also pygmy Of or relating to the Pygmies.
2. pygmy
a. Unusually or atypically small.
b. Unimportant; trivial.

[Middle English pigmie, from Latin Pygmaeī, the Pygmies, from Greek Pugmaioi, from pugmē, cubit, fist; see peuk- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: From an anthropological point of view, a pygmy is a member of any of various African, Asian, or South American peoples whose average height is less than five feet. As an ethnic term, however, Pygmy is used more exclusively of the peoples inhabiting the forests of equatorial Africa in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and surrounding countries. Many people consider it offensive to refer to others by a name that identifies them in terms of a physical trait and would prefer to use an alternative, if one existed. But the indigenous names of these peoples—such as Aka, Twa, and Efe—are unfamiliar to most Americans, and none of them can be used as a comprehensive term for all such groups, even in central Africa. Thus Pygmy is still in general use, although sometimes qualified by "so-called" to indicate dissatisfaction with a term that strikes many as inherently derogatory.

pygmy

(ˈpɪɡmɪ) or

pigmy

n, pl -mies
1. (Medicine) an abnormally undersized person
2. something that is a very small example of its type
3. a person of little importance or significance
4. (modifier) of very small stature or size
[C14 pigmeis the Pygmies, from Latin Pygmaeus a Pygmy, from Greek pugmaios undersized, from pugmē fist]
pygmaean, pygmean adj

Pygmy

(ˈpɪɡmɪ) or

Pigmy

n, pl -mies
(Peoples) a member of one of the dwarf peoples of Equatorial Africa, noted for their hunting and forest culture

Pyg•my

or Pigmy

(ˈpɪg mi)

n., pl. -mies,
adj. n.
1.
a. a member of any of several small-statured peoples of Africa, esp. the forested regions of central Africa.
b. a Negrito of SE Asia, or of the Andaman or Philippine islands.
2. (l.c.) a small or dwarfish person.
3. (l.c.) anything very small of its kind.
4. (l.c.) a person of small importance or lacking in some important quality, attribute, etc.
adj.
5. (sometimes l.c.) of or pertaining to the Pygmies.
6. (l.c.) of very small size, capacity, power, etc.
[1350–1400; Middle English pigmēis, pl. of pigmē < Latin Pygmaeus < Greek pygmaîos dwarfish, a member of a legendary race of dwarflike people =pygm(ḗ) distance from elbow to knuckles + -aios adj. suffix]
pyg′moid, adj.
pyg′my•ism, n.
syn: See dwarf.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pygmy - an unusually small individualpygmy - an unusually small individual  
small person - a person of below average size
2.Pygmy - any member of various peoples having an average height of less than five feet
small person - a person of below average size

pygmy

also pigmy
adjective
Translations
Pygmej
pygmæ
kääpiöpygmi
pigmeus
pygmÿi
pigmėjas
pigmejs
Pygmej
Pigme

pygmy

[ˈpɪgmɪ]
A. Npigmeo/a m/f (fig) → enano/a m/f
B. CPDpigmeo (fig) → miniatura, minúsculo

pygmy

[ˈpɪgmi]
npygmée m/f
modif [goat, hippopotamus] → nain(e)

pygmy

, pigmy
n
PygmyPygmäe m
(= small person, also fig) → Zwerg m
adj
PygmyPygmäen-; Pygmy tribePygmäenvolk nt
Zwerg-; pygmy goatZwergziege f

pygmy

[ˈpɪgmɪ] npigmeo/a

pygmy,

pigmy

(ˈpigmi) plural ˈpygmies ~ˈpigmies noun
a member of an African race of very small people.
References in classic literature ?
Yet, when this cherished volume was now placed in my hand--when I turned over its leaves, and sought in its marvellous pictures the charm I had, till now, never failed to find--all was eerie and dreary; the giants were gaunt goblins, the pigmies malevolent and fearful imps, Gulliver a most desolate wanderer in most dread and dangerous regions.
I was equally confounded at the sight of so many pigmies, for such I took them to be, after having so long accustomed mine eyes to the monstrous objects I had left.
Men were giants in those times," said Athos; "now we are pigmies in comparison.