dwarf

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdwȯrf How to pronounce dwarf (audio) \
plural dwarfs\ ˈdwȯrfs How to pronounce dwarfs (audio) \ also dwarves\ ˈdwȯrvz How to pronounce dwarves (audio) \

Definition of dwarf

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : 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"
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
5 : an insignificant person a literary dwarf

dwarf

verb
dwarfed; dwarfing; dwarfs

Definition of dwarf (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

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

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

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Other Words from dwarf

Noun

dwarfish \ ˈdwȯr-​fish How to pronounce dwarfish (audio) \ adjective
dwarfishly adverb
dwarfishness noun
dwarflike \ ˈdwȯrf-​ˌlīk How to pronounce dwarflike (audio) \ adjective
dwarfness \ ˈdwȯrf-​nəs How to pronounce dwarfness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dwarf

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With her are a raggedy clown, a drum-playing dwarf and a drag queen named Le Gateau Chocolat. Joshua Barone, New York Times, "Review: A New ‘Tannhäuser’ Brings Burger King to Bayreuth," 26 July 2019 The series includes dwarf plants (up to three feet) and intermediates (three to five feet high), and colors such as red, purple, shades of pink and white. Adrian Higgins, Houston Chronicle, "Growers set their sights on developing re-bloomers for the garden," 21 Aug. 2019 The series includes dwarf plants (up to three feet) and intermediates (three to five feet high), and colors such as red, purple, shades of pink and white. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "Sunflowers in October? Breeders are racing to develop plants that flower again and again.," 21 Aug. 2019 Ficus trees not part of original landscape plan When City Hall opened in 1971, climbing vines, dwarf trees and small bushes lined the building. Paulina Pineda, azcentral, "4 massive ficus trees surrounding Tempe City Hall to be cut down," 3 July 2019 Statistics indicate that six out of seven dwarfs are not happy. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: Aug. 1, 2019," 1 Aug. 2019 The team also videotaped a dwarf male fused to her underside — a permanent sperm donor. William J. Broad, New York Times, "The Creepy Anglerfish Comes to Light. (Just Don’t Get Too Close.)," 29 July 2019 Under them is a dwarf purple osier willow that picks up the blue tones of annuals in a nearby pot and a Lychnis coronaria (commonly called rose campion), a self-seeding annual that gets intense hot pink flowers. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Minutes from downtown, a garden wonderland — and you can see it in July," 20 June 2019 Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "After his obituary went viral, Joe Heller remembered as ‘the most inappropriate guy with the biggest heart’," 14 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The streams likely ate a noticeable chunk of potential sales, but even then, the more than 675,000 sales still dwarf every album in the past 18 months. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Billboard Staffers Discuss Taylor Swift's Big 'Lover' Debut Week," 4 Sep. 2019 But last year, just 727 knuckleballs were thrown in the majors, the fewest since the statistic was first tracked by Baseball Savant in 2008, and that number could dwarf this year’s total. Matthew Gutierrez, The Denver Post, "The knuckleball is quickly going extinct in MLB," 15 Aug. 2019 Most dwarf galaxies are thought to lack sufficient material to form supermassive black holes—making intermediate-mass black holes the best explanation for any hypervelocity stars launched from the LMC, Gualandris says. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Midsize Black Holes May Explain the Milky Way’s Speediest Stars," 7 Aug. 2019 Gradually convert the lawn to shade-tolerant groundcovers such as Asiatic jasmine, mondo grass, liriope, sedges and dwarf ruellia. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "How to deal if your lawn’s in excessive shade," 2 Aug. 2019 With the potential hits from climate change dwarfing the 2008 crash, many investors are calling on Wall Street to be smarter this time around. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Moody's buys climate-data firm to help investors price impact of a warming planet," 26 July 2019 Where Wadi Rum had dwarfed us, Petra seemed to contain us. Andrew Solomon, Condé Nast Traveler, "Traveling Through Jordan’s Historic Ruins, Red Dunes, and Dead Sea," 24 July 2019 Amazon says that shipping speed will be available on over 10 million products, dwarfing Walmart’s selection. Jason Del Rey, Vox, "Inside the conflict at Walmart that’s threatening its high-stakes race with Amazon," 3 July 2019 Each of the above five companies individually and collectively dwarfs every individual music publisher; as well as the entire music publishing and songwriting industries. Ed Christman, Billboard, "NMPA Asks DOJ to Amend Consent Decrees to Allow Publishers to Selectively Withdraw Digital Rights From Blanket Licenses," 13 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Zones: 7 to 9 Little Ollie Montra Dwarf Olive (Olea europaea 'Montra') This dwarf evergreen has deep green leaves with silvery undersides and can be potted or sheared into a hedge. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "20 Best Boxwood Shrubs to Plant in Your Garden," 14 Feb. 2019 For a pink dwarf crape myrtle, the experts identified Pokomoto as a selection to consider. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "There’s a lot to love about crape myrtles," 6 July 2018 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.

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First Known Use of dwarf

Noun

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

Verb

circa 1626, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

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

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Statistics for dwarf

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for dwarf

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

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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

noun
How to pronounce dwarf (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dwarf

 (Entry 1 of 3)

in stories : a creature that looks like a small man and that often lives underground and has magical powers
sometimes offensive : a person who is much smaller than most people because of a medical condition

dwarf

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dwarf (Entry 2 of 3)

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

dwarf

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dwarf (Entry 3 of 3)

of a plant or animal : smaller than normal size

dwarf

noun
\ ˈdwȯrf How to pronounce dwarf (audio) \
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

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dwarf

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdwȯ(ə)rf How to pronounce dwarf (audio) \
plural dwarfs\ ˈdwȯ(ə)rfs How to pronounce dwarfs (audio) \ also dwarves\ ˈdwȯ(ə)rvz How to pronounce dwarves (audio) \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dwarf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dwarf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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