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)

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

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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

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

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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

The youngest and wittiest Lannister sibling, Tyrion, a dwarf, is the black sheep of the family. John Carucci, The Seattle Times, "It’s not too late to dive into ‘Game of Thrones,’ with help," 13 Apr. 2019 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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The figure dwarfs the revenue taken during similar major shopping days of US retailers. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Alibaba’s Singles Day sales dwarf Amazon’s biggest day," 12 Nov. 2018 Total spending to support or oppose candidates — money spent by either the candidates themselves or outside interest groups — in California House races dwarfs the $58 million tallied at roughly this point in the 2016 election cycle. Javier Panzar, latimes.com, "Spending soars in California's crowded congressional races ahead of Tuesday primary," 5 June 2018 That dwarfs the $5 billion bet in Nevada, the lone state with a legal sports book that preceded the federal law. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court strikes down ban on sports betting in victory for New Jersey," 14 May 2018 The fund dwarfs all other public and private financial assets in Alaska. Author: Charles Wohlforth | Opinion, Anchorage Daily News, "How the Alaska Constitution could protect the Permanent Fund from the legislature," 13 Mar. 2018 On paper, these fluctuations in stock value dwarf Berkshire’s actual business profits. Donald E. Graham, WSJ, "I Can’t See Berkshire’s Bottom Line," 7 Nov. 2018 Sure, the sheer volume of Japan’s blossoms exploding across the country dwarf the small, beloved displays surrounding Washington’s Tidal Basin and in neighborhood parks. Washington Post, "To compete with Japan’s cherry blossom bacchanal, D.C. needs to step up its game. Big time.," 2 Apr. 2018 After leading his party to a decisive victory five years ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dwarfed all competitors in India’s political arena. Krishna Pokharel, WSJ, "Get Modi: ‘Blood Rivals’ Bury the Hatchet to Beat India’s Leader," 5 Mar. 2019 One reason is that you’re dwarfed by the screen and immersed in the film, rather than being the master of it. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Roma is coming to Netflix on Friday. You should still see it in a theater.," 11 Dec. 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.

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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

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Learn More about dwarf

Dictionary Entries near dwarf

dwale

dwall

dwalm

dwarf

dwarf agave

dwarf alder

dwarf apple

Statistics for dwarf

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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

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

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