Pygmy

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Pygmy'

Pygmy Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    pygmy n
  1. an unusually small individual [syn: pigmy]
  2. any member of various peoples having an average height of less than five feet [syn: Pigmy]
Pygmy Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    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 Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Pygmy \Pyg"my\, Pygmean \Pyg*me"an\, a. [L. pygmaeus. See Pygmy.] 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 Australia. 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 Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    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.]
  1. (Class. Myth.) One of a fabulous race of dwarfs who waged war with the cranes, and were destroyed.
  2. Hence, a short, insignificant person; a dwarf.
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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.

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Words and phrases related to 'Pygmy'


'Pygmy' in famous quotation sentence


* Cat a pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs, and patronizes human beings. - Oliver Herford


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Pygmy Sample Sentences in News


  • How Pygmy People Got Their Short Stature
    Pygmy traits independently evolved many times among different peoples around the world, because shorter heights may have helped them live in rainforests, researchers say. The small body sizes known as pygmy traits are seen worldwide, limited to peoples who traditionally hunted and gathered food in tropical rainforests, such as in Central Africa and Southeast Asia. Read more on this news related to 'Pygmy'
  • Pygmy Phenotype Developed Many Times, Adaptive To Rainforest
    A'ndrea Elyse Messer, Penn State The small body size associated with the pygmy phenotype is probably a selective adaptation for rainforest hunter-gatherers, according to an international team of researchers, but all African pygmy phenotypes do not have the same genetic underpinning, suggesting a more recent adaptation than previously thought. "I'm int Read more on this news related to 'Pygmy'
  • Pygmies' Small Stature Evolved Multiple Times
    There are roughly half a million known pygmy people living in various tribes around the world, clustered mainly near the tropics in African and Southeast Asia. Anthropologists have long attributed the small body sizes of pygmy peoples to nutritional deficits resulting from harsh living conditions of the rainforest. But in a new study, researchers report that the h Read more on this news related to 'Pygmy'

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