dwarf

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdwȯrf \
plural dwarfs\ ˈdwȯrfs \ also dwarves\ ˈdwȯrvz \

Definition of dwarf 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a person of unusually small stature (see stature sense 1) especially : a person whose height does not exceed 4' 10" and is typically less than 4' 5"
b : an insignificant person a literary dwarf
2 : an animal or plant much below normal size
3 folklore : a small legendary manlike being who is usually misshapen and ugly and skilled as a craftsman
4 astronomy : a star (such as the sun) of ordinary or low luminosity and relatively small mass and size

dwarf

verb
dwarfed; dwarfing; dwarfs

Definition of dwarf (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to restrict the growth of : stunt children dwarfed by malnutrition
2 : to cause to appear smaller or to seem inferior dwarfed by his older brother has dwarfed the achievements of her predecessors

intransitive verb

: to become smaller

dwarf

adjective

Definition of dwarf (Entry 3 of 3)

of a plant
: low-growing in habit a dwarf peach tree dwarfer forms of citrus

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dwarf

Noun

dwarfish \ ˈdwȯr-​fish \ adjective
dwarfishly adverb
dwarfishness noun
dwarflike \ ˈdwȯrf-​ˌlīk \ adjective
dwarfness \ ˈdwȯrf-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dwarf

Synonyms: Noun

diminutive, midget, mite, peewee, pygmy (also pigmy), runt, scrub, shrimp, Tom Thumb

Synonyms: Verb

stunt, suppress

Antonyms: Noun

behemoth, colossus, giant, jumbo, leviathan, mammoth, monster, titan

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dwarf in a Sentence

Noun

Shetland ponies are the dwarfs of the horse world. Snow White and the seven dwarfs.

Verb

shrubs dwarfed by the lack of water
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Look, Apple has turned into the iPhone and the seven dwarves. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Microsoft is more valuable than Apple again. Why?," 30 Nov. 2018 The program used to identify Wolf 503b also found that its host star is an orange dwarf, meaning its not as bright as our Sun, but twice as old. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Exoplanet 'twice the size of Earth' discovered 145 light-years away," 6 Sep. 2018 But if the dwarf encounters an intermediate-mass black hole, weird physics come into play. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Black Holes Reignite Dead Stars and Turn Them Into Zombies," 30 Aug. 2018 Plus, the dwarves can really lean into their characters’ standout traits. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "36 Halloween Disney Costumes You And Your BFFs Can Pull Off," 16 Aug. 2018 In addition to elves and dwarves and imps there are also trolls and munchkins and leprechauns and a million other short-statured mystical characters. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "From ‘The Simpsons’ to ‘Disenchantment’," 11 Aug. 2018 Orbiting our Milky Way galaxy is the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy. Chelsea Gohd, Space.com, "A Tarantula and Seahorse Make Up These Dazzling Nebulas," 30 May 2018 The Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Aviles had assembled 200 soldiers, drummers, trumpeters, fifers, and a dwarf who was a gifted singer and dancer. National Geographic, "Ancient Native American King's House Rediscovered in Florida," 13 June 2018 And to challenge the λCDM model, scientists would need to rule out other explanations for the dwarf galaxies’ orbits. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New observations of galaxies challenge the standard cosmological model," 1 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Wallops is dwarfed in size and attention by Cape Canaveral in Florida, which enjoys infrastructure dividends from the space-shuttle era such as long runways and huge buildings. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Rocket Lab Chooses Wallops Island, Virginia as American Launch Site," 17 Oct. 2018 His haul is dwarfed by Bishop's $561,000, but far outweighs Democrat Lee Castillo, who has raised and spent about $5,000. Lindsay Whitehurst, Fox News, "3rd-party hopeful brings cash to race with Utah congressman," 8 Aug. 2018 While it is not known what percentage of MS-13 members are undocumented, MS-13's membership in the US is dwarfed by the total undocumented immigrant population in the US, which is estimated at roughly 11 million. Jeremy Diamond, CNN, "Trump planning to withhold aid from undocumented immigrant home countries," 23 May 2018 At 35 to 45 meters large, the telescope needed for the project would dwarf anything currently seen on the Earth. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Firing a Giant Laser Into Space Could Help Find Aliens, MIT Scientist Says," 7 Nov. 2018 Whether farmers or foragers, groups were small and scattered, dwarfed by the limitless European landscape. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 With 31 regional sports networks, Comcast and Fox would dwarf the total networks owned by other pay-TV companies. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Comcast may soon control what you pay to watch your favorite sports teams," 24 May 2018 Reuters reported Monday that Mulvaney, who was installed as acting director by Trump in November, is looking for a penalty against Wells Fargo that would dwarf that earlier figure. Jim Puzzanghera, latimes.com, "Wells Fargo reportedly facing huge fine for mortgage lending and auto insurance problems," 9 Apr. 2018 Such an amount would dwarf the Marshall Plan in size, but not necessarily in generosity. The Economist, "Will China’s Belt and Road Initiative outdo the Marshall Plan?," 8 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Dwarf planet Ceres, found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, sports a weirdly tall and lonely mountain: Ahuna Mons. Liz Kruesi, Discover Magazine, "Ceres Hosts an Ice Volcano," 21 Dec. 2016 Dwarf irises Why grow them: My bright-purple reticulatas reliably bloom in the first weeks of March, sticking their speckled tongues out at raging wind. Susan Clotfelter, The Denver Post, "Ten plants that even a black-thumb gardener can’t kill," 31 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dwarf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dwarf

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1626, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dwarf

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Middle English dwerg, dwerf, from Old English dweorg, dweorh; akin to Old High German twerg dwarf

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dwarf

Dictionary Entries near dwarf

dwale

dwall

dwalm

dwarf

dwarf agave

dwarf alder

dwarf apple

Statistics for dwarf

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dwarf

The first known use of dwarf was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dwarf

dwarf

noun

Financial Definition of dwarf

What It Is

In the mortgage business, a dwarf is a group of mortgage-backed securities that mature in fewer than 15 years. The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA or Fannie Mae) issues dwarves.

How It Works

Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are securities that represent an interest in a pool of mortgage loans. Let's assume you want to buy a house, so you get a mortgage from XYZ Bank. XYZ Bank transfers money into your account, and you agree to repay the money according to a set schedule. XYZ Bank (which could also be a thrift, credit union, or other originator) may then choose to hold the mortgage in its portfolio (i.e., simply collect the interest and principal payments over the next several years) or sell it.

If XYZ Bank sells the mortgage, it gets cash to make other loans. So let's assume that XYZ Bank sells your mortgage to Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae groups your mortgage with similar mortgages it has already purchased (referred to as "pooling" the mortgages). The mortgages in the pool have common characteristics (i.e., similar interest rates, maturities). Pools that mature in fewer than 15 years make up dwarves.

Fannie Mae then sells securities that represent an interest in the dwarves, of which your mortgage is a small part (called securitizing the pool). It sells these MBS to investors in the open market. With the funds from the sale of the MBS, Fannie Mae can purchase more mortgages and create more MBS.

Why It Matters

For investors, an MBS is much like a bond, and dwarves are relatively short-term bonds in this sense However, it is important to note that payments that are part interest and part principal could be unfavorable to some dwarf investors, because with each decrease in outstanding principal there is a corresponding decrease in the amount of interest that accrues. The return of principal could also vary depending on how quickly the underlying mortgages are repaid.

Fannie Mae guarantees the timely payment of interest and principal on the MBS they issue -- that is, if the borrowers do not make their mortgage payments on time, Fannie Mae will still make timely interest and principal payments to their MBS investors. It is important to note that the U.S. government does not guarantee Fannie Mae. That is, if it cannot fulfill their obligations to its MBS investors, the government has no responsibility to rescue it.

Source: Investing Answers

dwarf

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dwarf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make (something) look very small or unimportant when compared with something else

dwarf

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dwarf (Entry 2 of 2)

of a plant or animal : smaller than normal size

dwarf

noun
\ ˈdwȯrf \
plural dwarfs\ ˈdwȯrfs \ also dwarves\ ˈdwȯrvz \

Kids Definition of dwarf

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a person, animal, or plant much smaller than normal size
2 : a creature in legends that is usually pictured as a small person who is skilled at some craft

dwarf

verb
dwarfed; dwarfing

Kids Definition of dwarf (Entry 2 of 3)

: to cause to appear smaller Our car was dwarfed by the giant redwood trees.

dwarf

adjective

Kids Definition of dwarf (Entry 3 of 3)

: of less than the usual size dwarf pine trees

Keep scrolling for more

dwarf

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdwȯ(ə)rf \
plural dwarfs\ ˈdwȯ(ə)rfs \ also dwarves\ ˈdwȯ(ə)rvz \

Medical Definition of dwarf 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person of unusually small stature especially : a person whose height does not exceed 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 meters) and is typically less than 4 feet 5 inches (1.35 meters)
2 : an animal much below normal size

Medical Definition of dwarf (Entry 2 of 2)

: to restrict the growth of : stunt

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dwarf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dwarf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dwarf

Spanish Central: Translation of dwarf

Nglish: Translation of dwarf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwarf for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dwarf

Comments on dwarf

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by shyness and lack of polish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!