Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

pygmy

noun pyg·my \ˈpig-mē\

Simple Definition of pygmy

  • Pygmy : a member of a group of very small people who live in Africa

  • : a person who is regarded as very weak, stupid, etc.

Full Definition of pygmy

plural pygmies also pigmies

  1. 1 often capitalized :  any of a race of dwarfs described by ancient Greek authors

  2. 2 capitalized :  any of a small people of equatorial Africa ranging under five feet (1.5 meters) in height

  3. 3 a (1) :  an unusually small person (2) :  an insignificant or unimpressive person <an intellectual pygmy> b :  something very small of its kind

pygmy adjective

Examples of pygmy

  1. <hummingbirds may be the pygmies of the avian world, but what they lack in size they make up for in beauty>

  2. <regrettably, most of the candidates for the party's nomination that year were political pygmies>



Variants of pygmy

also pig·my \ˈpig-mē\

Origin of pygmy

Middle English pigmei, from Latin pygmaeus of a pygmy, dwarfish, from Greek pygmaios, from pygmē fist, measure of length — more at pungent


First Known Use: 14th century


Medical Dictionary

pygmy

noun pyg·my

Medical Definition of pygmy

plural pygmies also pigmies

  1. 1 capitalized :  any of a small people of equatorial Africa ranging under five feet (1.5 meters) in height

  2. 2:  a relatively short or small individual :  dwarf

  3. pygmy adjective



Variants of pygmy

also pig·my \ˈpig-mē\play


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pygmy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift kittly-benders pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ