An unusually short, small person is sometimes called a dwarf. There are many different genetic medical conditions that can cause a person to be classified as a little person or a dwarf.

Some people are offended by dwarf, preferring to be called "little people," "LP," or "people of short stature." The general condition that leads to delayed growth is called "dwarfism." The noun dwarf is also used for an unusually small animal or plant, or as a verb meaning "make something seem very small," as when a new apartment building dwarfs the surrounding houses. The Old English root dweorg referred to a tiny creature from German mythology.

Definitions of dwarf

n a person who is markedly small

midget, nanus
Levi-Lorrain dwarf, hypophysial dwarf, pituitary dwarf
a dwarf whose condition is caused by a deficiency of growth hormones, rather than by genetic factors (as in the case of the achondroplastic dwarf)
hypoplastic dwarf, normal dwarf, primordial dwarf, true dwarf
an achondroplastic dwarf whose small size is the result of a genetic defect; body parts and mental and sexual development are normal
Type of:
small person
a person of below average size

n a plant or animal that is atypically small

Type of:
being, organism
a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently

n a legendary creature resembling a tiny old man; lives in the depths of the earth and guards buried treasure

(German mythology) any of the race of dwarfs who possessed a treasure hoard that was stolen by Siegfried
(Norse mythology) a dwarf who possessed a treasure that was stolen by Loki
Type of:
faerie, faery, fairy, fay, sprite
a small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers

v make appear small by comparison

“This year's debt dwarfs that of last year”
overshadow, shadow
Type of:
command, dominate, overlook, overtop
look down on

v check the growth of

“the lack of sunlight dwarfed these pines”
Type of:
check the growth or development of

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