Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Pygmy'
- an unusually small individual [syn: pigmy]
- any member of various peoples having an average height of less than five feet [syn: Pigmy]
- Pygmy \Pyg"my\, n.
One of a race of Central African Negritos found chiefly in
the great forests of the equatorial belt. THey are the
shortest of known races, the adults ranging from less than
four to about five feet in stature. They are timid and shy,
dwelling in the recesses of the forests, though often on good
terms with neighboring Negroes.
- Pygmy \Pyg"my\, Pygmean \Pyg*me"an\, a. [L. pygmaeus. See
Of or pertaining to a pygmy; resembling a pygmy or dwarf;
dwarfish; very small. `` Like that Pygmean race.'' --Milton.
Pygmy antelope (Zo["o]l.), the kleeneboc.
Pygmy goose (Zo["o]l.), any species of very small geese of
the genus Nettapus, native of Africa, India, and
Pygmy owl (Zo["o]l.), the gnome.
Pygmy parrot (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of very
small green parrots (Nasitern[ae]), native of New Guinea
and adjacent islands. They are not larger than sparrows.
- Pygmy \Pyg"my\, n.; pl. Pygmies. [L. pygmaeus, Gr. ?, fr. ?
the fist, a measure of length, the distance from the elbow to
the knuckles, about 131 inches. Cf. Pugnacious, Fist.]
[Written also pigmy.]
- (Class. Myth.) One of a fabulous race of dwarfs who waged war with the cranes, and were destroyed.
- Hence, a short, insignificant person; a dwarf.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Pygmy'
Pygmy is a term used for various ethnic groups worldwide whose average height is unusually low; anthropologists define pygmy as any group whose adult men grow to less than 150 cm (4 feet 11 inches) in average height.
The term "pygmy" is sometimes considered pejorative. However, there is no single term to replace it that covers all African pygmies. The term Bayaka, the plural form of the Aka/Yaka, is sometimes used in the Central African Republic to refer to all local Pygmies. Likewise, the Kongo word Bambenga is used in Congo.
The term pygmy, as used to refer to diminutive people, derives from Greek πυγμαίος Pygmaioi via Latin Pygmaei (sing. Pygmaeus), derived from πυγμή a fist, or a measure of length corresponding to the distance between the elbow and knuckles.(See also Greek pechus). In Greek mythology the word describes a tribe of dwarfs, first described by Homer, and reputed to live in India and south of modern day Ethiopia.[See more about Pygmy at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
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