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 ?
They were neatly plastered together by the Pygmy workmen, pretty much like birds' nests, out of straw, feathers, egg shells, and other small bits of stuff, with stiff clay instead of mortar; and when the hot sun had dried them, they were just as snug and comfortable as a Pygmy could desire.
At harvest time, they were forced to go with their little axes and cut down the grain, exactly as a woodcutter makes a clearing in the forest; and when a stalk of wheat, with its overburdened top, chanced to come crashing down upon an unfortunate Pygmy, it was apt to be a very sad affair.
It took a far-sighted Pygmy, I can assure you, to discern his summit without the help of a telescope; and sometimes, in misty weather, they could not see his upper half, but only his long legs, which seemed to be striding about by themselves.
And when the small distant squeak of their voices reached his ear, the Giant would make answer, "Pretty well, brother Pygmy, I thank you," in a thunderous roar that would have shaken down the walls of their strongest temple, only that it came from so far aloft.
It was a happy circumstance that Antaeus was the Pygmy people's friend; for there was more strength in his little finger than in ten million of such bodies as this.
The Giant's life being as long as his body was large, while the lifetime of a Pygmy was but a span, this friendly intercourse had been going on for innumerable generations and ages.
It might be almost anybody from some person you met up in the caves of ice to a red pygmy from the wilds of Africa.
Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can?
Those strangely clad warriors seemed to him now to be looking down upon his discomfiture with a satanic smile, mocking the pygmy who had dared to raise his hand against one so jealously guarded.
But she is so small and pretty, she always seems like a dolly to me," and the Prince looked down from his lofty height of five feet five as if Rose was indeed a pygmy beside him.
But here, in this open glade where Tantor flapped his giant ears and swayed his huge bulk from side to side, the ape-man must pass along the surface of the ground--a pygmy amongst giants.
Do you think you are engaged with a pygmy like yourself?