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

Smaller flowered and more dwarf types, usually available at garden centers, have very few summer problems and often reseed in gardens. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Zinnias can be added to summer gardens in Florida," 27 July 2019 In teaching the birds a new route, Moullec hoped the geese could avoid hunters who threatened their numbers—at the time, a paltry 10 dwarf geese remained in Northern Europe. Robin Aigner, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Man, a Tiny Aircraft, and a Flock of Geese: Flying Among Birds in France," 22 July 2019 Whale sharks, the largest fish species on Earth, can grow to more than 55 feet, while dwarf lantern sharks reach a mere eight inches. National Geographic, "Sharks," 22 July 2019 Cotton leafroll dwarf virus was spotted in Barbour County two years ago and has so far been detected in 24 counties, according to the Auburn University Plant Diagnostic Lab. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "How Alabama cotton farmers cope with incurable virus," 16 July 2019 In order to grow to its current massive size, the Milky Way probably consumed a dwarf galaxy in its younger days, according to a new study. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The Milky Way gobbled up another galaxy billions of years ago, study says," 23 July 2019 Unlike others of its kind, FRB 121102 still hasn’t shut up, and in 2017, scientists at last mapped it to a weird little smudge of a dwarf galaxy roughly three billion light-years away. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "Bizarre radio burst traced back to its origin in deep space," 27 June 2019 From the dwarf-saucer magnolias in early spring, to the hollyhocks that Cogswell specified for the original garden, the long blooming phlox and the exotic perfume of the Plantagenet hostas in the fall, Riley watches over the process. Joan Hunt, courant.com, "Webb House Garden The Centerpiece Of CT Garden Tour," 27 June 2019 The dwarf sundew is the smallest of the sundew plants and the first of its kind to be found in Maryland. Tainaya Nash, House Beautiful, "A New Carnivorous Plant Was Discovered in Maryland," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As in the children’s game that gives the collection its title, Dr. Osipov shows how people dwarfed by institutions can make purposeful moves with nonetheless arbitrary outcomes. Laura Kolbe, WSJ, "‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ Review: Wishing and Waiting," 12 July 2019 But the eye is drawn to two humans, dwarfed by their surroundings, standing at the bottom of the shot. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘Life’ Magazine’s Earliest Women Photojournalists Step Into Spotlight," 28 June 2019 With the flip of a switch, every musician onstage was reduced to Lilliputian dimension, dwarfed by enormous, constantly moving, impossibly bright projections of themselves. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Big screens and other distractions keep invading our concert spaces. Can we just focus on the music?," 26 June 2019 Oakland’s 47 percent increase dwarfs San Francisco’s increase of 17 percent, though the larger city of San Francisco has a bigger homeless population. Marisa Kendall, The Mercury News, "Oakland’s homeless population grows 47 percent in two years," 23 July 2019 Specialty retailers like Walgreens and CVS in the pharmacy world and Kroger and Albertson’s in groceries also dwarf Amazon’s presence in their categories. Tim O'reilly, Quartz, "Antitrust regulators are using the wrong tools to break up Big Tech," 17 July 2019 The sum dwarfs Bird’s previous payout of $9.5 million and is part of At Home’s strategy to hold on to him. Orla Mccaffrey, Dallas News, "Home Alone: Decor chain’s Lee Bird soars to top of highest-paid CEOs in Dallas-Fort Worth," 16 July 2019 The Nets’ haul so strongly dwarfed the Knicks’ that president Steve Mills put out a statement hours after free agency opened acknowledging his fans’ disappointment. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Charles Oakley Grades Knicks Says They Have No 'A' Players," 16 July 2019 The profit dwarfs that of the second quarter of 2018, when Google had to dock its net income by a record $5 billion over last year’s antitrust settlement. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The less expensive Pixel 3A helped Google sell twice as many smartphones last quarter," 26 July 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 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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Dictionary Entries near dwarf

dwale

dwall

dwalm

dwarf

dwarf agave

dwarf alder

dwarf apple

Statistics for dwarf

Last Updated

12 Aug 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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