Definition of pygmy
1 often capitalized : any of a race of dwarfs described by ancient Greek authors
2 capitalized : any of a small people of equatorial Africa ranging under five feet (1.5 meters) in height
3a (1) : an unusually small person (2) : an insignificant or unimpressive person an intellectual pygmyb : something very small of its kind
Examples of pygmy in a Sentence
hummingbirds may be the pygmies of the avian world, but what they lack in size they make up for in beauty
regrettably, most of the candidates for the party's nomination that year were political pygmies
Recent Examples of pygmy from the Web
There were two silky anteaters, or pygmy anteaters, high in the branches of a nearby tree, their fuzzy, pinkish-brown tails intertwined.
Because the island is so isolated, creatures morphed into either dwarf or giant forms, including a little elephant called a pygmy Stegodon, and Komodo dragons, giant lizards and turtles that were almost as large as the elephants.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pygmy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of pygmy
Middle English pigmei, from Latin pygmaeus of a pygmy, dwarfish, from Greek pygmaios, from pygmē fist, measure of length — more at pungent
First Known Use: 14th century
PYGMY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pygmy for English Language Learners
Pygmy : a member of a group of very small people who live in Africa
: a person who is regarded as very weak, stupid, etc.
PYGMY Defined for Kids
Definition of pygmy for Students
: smaller than the usual size a pygmy goat
Seen and Heard
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