Adjective "Pygmy" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


A member of certain peoples of very short stature in equatorial Africa and parts of SE Asia. Pygmies (e.g. the Mbuti and Twa peoples) are typically nomadic hunter-gatherers with an average male height not above 150 cm (4 ft 11 in.).
  1. 'The report in the Times names the Aka Pygmies, a hunter-gatherer tribe from the northern Congo, as the best fathers.'
  2. 'Thus, Pygmies exhibit the highest level of diversity in this small sample of sub-Saharan Africans.'
  3. '‘The scaling of brain to body isn't at all what we'd expect to find in Pygmies, and the shape is all wrong to be a microcephalic,’ Falk said.'
  4. 'And this was the PC version: originally they were a black-skinned African pygmy tribe.'
  5. 'I'm thinking of groups such as the Pygmies and certain indigenous groups in Mexico.'
  6. 'Authorities found it difficult to obtain blood samples from local inhabitants, many of whom are Pygmies.'
  7. 'Their physical features - short stature, dark skin, peppercorn hair and large buttocks - are characteristic of African Pygmies.'
  8. 'The original inhabitants were the Pygmies, but only a few thousand remain.'
  9. 'The other one, I remember very well, was a film of pygmies in Cameroon building a bridge across a jungle river.'
A very small person, animal, or thing.
  1. 'they were pygmies compared to the current satellites'
  2. 'Small dinky lorries were lined up, their drivers like pygmies from another world than that of the steel ship.'
  3. 'The fall of a Titan is always much more shocking than the stumble of a pygmy.'
  4. 'However, the Oompa-Loompas, a rare tribe of identical pygmies (all played by Deep Roy) who work for Wonka provoke mixed feelings.'
  5. 'This comes as the climax to a positive blizzard of bans, both from Westminster and its pygmy parody at Holyrood.'
  6. 'he regarded them as intellectual pygmies'
  7. 'Those that remain are political pygmies, lacking anything like the independent power needed to dominate the country.'
  8. 'One wonders what group of mental pygmies in the department of foreign affairs or immigration fixed our gaze on East Timor.'
  9. 'It's the ultimate bureaucratic skill - and the key to emerging as the consensus pygmy when the giants are at each other's throats.'
  10. 'Modern football is about money, and Arsenal are financial pygmies when compared to Europe's elite.'
  11. 'And yet the literary giant confesses himself to be a pygmy in his relationship with language.'
  12. 'Even with the slight handicap of having to speak in English, Mr Fischer would have these intellectual pygmies for breakfast.'


Used in names of animals and plants that are much smaller than more typical kinds, e.g. pygmy shrew, pygmy water lily.
  1. 'The pygmy falcon in southern Africa depends entirely on sociable weaver nests for breeding.'
  2. 'The gestation period was five months, a timetable shared by the slender-horned gazelle, blackbuck antelope, and pygmy goat.'
  3. 'Dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart disease found in humans, has afflicted the pygmy sperm whale and the dwarf sperm whale.'
  4. 'It was a dwarf species located on the Indonesian island of Flores, which it shared with pigmy elephants and Komodo dragons.'
  5. 'Then I ramble through pygmy pine trees with shaggy bark, and mountain mahogany bushes with long white flowers that twist up like corkscrews.'
  6. 'Adrienne Zihlman remarked: ‘Lucy's fossil remains match up remarkably well with the bones of a pygmy chimp.’'
  7. 'The pygmy hippo, which is the smallest species, occurs in West Africa, especially in or near rivers, lakes, and swamps.'
  8. 'In Florida, more people are probably bitten by pigmy rattlesnakes than by any other poisonous snake.'
  9. 'We started off at Tropical World where we saw huge butterflies, pygmy monkeys, snakes and all sorts of fish.'
  10. 'Moreover, some predators of pygmy swordtails (X. nigrensis) also exhibit a bias for the sword.'
  11. 'The benevolent dwarf countenances were gone, and they all looked like pygmy monsters out of an old horror movie.'
  12. 'Most visitors to the annual motor show in the city were amused by what seemed to be a pygmy four-wheeler.'
  13. 'The theatre celebrated its silver jubilee with the same commitment that made it emerge as a pygmy presence in a remote corner of a huge city, where now it is a landmark.'


1. Anthropology. a member of a small-statured people native to equatorial Africa. a Negrito of southeastern Asia, or of the Andaman or Philippine islands.

2. (lowercase) Disparaging and Offensive. a small or dwarfish person.

3. (lowercase) anything very small of its kind.

4. (lowercase) a person who is of small importance, or who has some quality, attribute, etc., in very small measure.

5. Classical Mythology. (in the Iliad) one of a race of dwarfs who fought battles

More examples(as adjective)

"beetles can be pygmy."

"populations can be pygmy."

"musics can be pygmy."


(Pygmy)Late Middle English (originally in the plural, denoting a mythological race of small people): via Latin from Greek pugmaios ‘dwarf’, from pugmē ‘the length measured from elbow to knuckles’.