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

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 \ 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

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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

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 Snow and snap peas are available in both vining and dwarf versions. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Growing Peas Has Never Been Easier Than This," 31 Mar. 2017 On Nidavellir, the heart of a dying star, Thor forges a new weapon, Stormbreaker, with the help of Rocket, Groot (Vin Diesel) and the dwarf Eitri (Peter Dinklage). Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Boundless Potential of Thor," 6 May 2018 There are many types to choose from, including hollies, boxwoods, rhododendrons, and aspidistra, with more new dwarf varieties being released each season. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Easy-To-Grow Plants You Should Plant This Spring," 1 Mar. 2018 Fortunately, there is now a dwarf — and aptly named — form of this outstanding shrub. Earl Nickel, SFChronicle.com, "Let this ‘Purple Pixie’ bring a little color to the garden," 29 June 2018 Grump and his fellow dwarves are all here, sneezing, stuttering, complaining and singing. The Christian Science Monitor, "4 delightful new books for middle-grade readers," 7 June 2018 Annuals such as dwarf sunflowers and California poppies produce flowers quickly and can grow in deeper containers, Zagory noted. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Put bee-friendly flowers anywhere with portable pollinator gardens | The Sacramento Bee," 8 Mar. 2018 But the model doesn’t seem to explain why a group of small galaxies, called dwarf or satellite galaxies, seem to orbit Centaurus A in a neat orbital plane like planets orbiting a star. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New observations of galaxies challenge the standard cosmological model," 1 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Johnson commitment obviously is a big win for Northwestern, but its projected impact on the West’s competitive balance could be dwarfed by recent developments involving two other teams in the division. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "Hunter Johnson's Transfer to Northwestern Adds New Dimension to Future of Big Ten West," 12 June 2018 Vietnam War protests were sprinkled with high schoolers, though their numbers were dwarfed by college-age peers. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area student organizers are in vanguard in wake of Florida slayings," 24 Feb. 2018 The new events center, at 13,456 square feet, will dwarf the current 5,800-square-foot venue, which sits along Lake Mendsen, seats up to 200 people and features a ballroom with a grand teak cathedral ceiling. Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Couples married before 'Pinterest age' set to renew vows in farewell to Winter Park civic center," 12 July 2018 And despite the star appeal of the NBA and the carping about the NFL, concussions and anthem protests, NFL media contracts and popularity dwarf that of the NBA and all other sports leagues. Andrew Brandt, SI.com, "How NFL and NBA Contracts Differ, and What NFL Players Can Do to Change It," 10 July 2018 The Earth BioGenome project will dwarf these earlier efforts by sequencing, cataloging and characterizing the genomes of all known eukaryotes, which include all living organisms other than certain microbes that lack a cell nucleus. Bryn Nelson /, NBC News, "The audacious plan to catalog all life on Earth," 14 June 2018 Brits spoofed the last with adjectives that now recall Snow White’s dwarfs: Slippy, Drippy, Nippy. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Flattening time’s tides; a ‘Maid’ made in the shade," 30 May 2018 Republican consultant Larry Shaheen said the money on both sides could be dwarfed by outside spending by parties and other groups. Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Why one GOP strategist says ‘Republicans are going to have to work harder than ever’," 12 July 2018 In a cavernous metal warehouse on the CSIRO campus that has long been used to study coal combustion, two of Dolan's colleagues are assembling a 2-meter-tall reactor that is dwarfed by a nearby coal reactor. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon," 12 July 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

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

Verb

see dwarf entry 1

Adjective

see dwarf entry 1

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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

7 Oct 2018

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

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

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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

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Comments on dwarf

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