Definition of dwarf in English:

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Pronunciation: /dwɔːf/

noun (plural dwarfs or dwarves /dwɔːvz/)

1(In folklore or fantasy literature) a member of a mythical race of short, stocky human-like creatures who are generally skilled in mining and metalworking.
Example sentences
  • It is set in the world of the traditional fairy tale, with a cast of elves, dwarves, trolls and goblins as well as hobbits and humans.
  • Over the rolling plains of Edelwilde walk giants, dwarfs, elves, fairies and many other creatures unknown to the rest of the world.
  • One was a dwarf: short and stocky, with a beard that reached to his waist.
gnome, goblin, hobgoblin, troll, imp, elf, brownie, kelpie, leprechaun, fairy, pixie, sprite
1.1A person who is of unusually or abnormally small stature because of a medical condition; a person affected by dwarfism.
1.2 offensive A very short person.
small person, short person, person of restricted growth
offensive midget, pygmy
rare manikin, homunculus, Lilliputian
1.3 [as modifier] Denoting something, especially an animal or plant, which is much smaller than the usual size for its type or species: a dwarf conifer
More example sentences
  • Evergreen plants, including dwarf conifers such as hemlocks, junipers, pines, and spruces, can form a backbone to anchor the design of a rock garden.
  • Coastal heathlands are dominated by early successional species such as dwarf shrubs and grasses, and support many rare and endemic species.
  • Many conifer trees species have dwarf varieties available.
miniature, small, little, tiny, minute, toy, pocket, diminutive, baby, pygmy, stunted, undersized, undersize, small-scale, scaled-down, fun-size;
Scottish  wee;
North American  vest-pocket
informal mini, teeny, teeny-weeny, teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy, tiddly, pint-sized, half-pint, sawn-off, knee-high to a grasshopper
British informal titchy, ickle
North American informal little-bitty
2 (also dwarf star) Astronomy A star of relatively small size and low luminosity, including the majority of main sequence stars.
Example sentences
  • The new planet was detected orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 876, which is about one third as massive as our Sun.
  • The stellar wind from the red dwarf star removes the dust in the debris disk by causing the dust to slowly spiral into the star.
  • The planet orbits the M class red dwarf star Gliese 436, located only 33 light years away, in our own galactic neighborhood.


[with object]
1Cause to seem small or insignificant in comparison: the buildings surround and dwarf All Saints church
More example sentences
  • The new design does not even remotely fit in with the rest of the area and will, as you can see, dwarf the other surrounding buildings.
  • In comparison the earth is dwarfed by mighty Jupiter, so the presence of Ganymede is not really that unusual.
  • The ship seemed tiny and insignificant now, dwarfed by the great tower of the Pharos lighthouse.
dominate, tower above, tower over, loom over, overlook, overshadow, overtop
overshadow, outshine, put in the shade, surpass, exceed, outclass, outstrip, outdo, top, cap, trump, transcend;
shame, put to shame, diminish, minimize
archaic extinguish, outrival
1.1Stunt the growth or development of: (as adjective dwarfed) the dwarfed but solid branch of a tree
More example sentences
  • The anatomy of the graft tissue between a rootstock and its shoot can provide a mechanistic explanation of the way dwarfing Malus rootstocks reduce shoot growth.
  • The two independent, recessive dwarfing genes produced four distinct seedling growth habits in field trials.
  • Without proper DNA methylation, higher organisms from plants to humans have a host of developmental problems, from dwarfing in plants to tumor development in humans to certain death in mice.



Pronunciation: /ˈdwɔːfɪʃ/
Example sentences
  • There can be few among today's absintheurs whose skills are on a par with this dwarfish playwright, author of Ubu Roi and creator of the monstrous stage figure Pere Ubu.
  • The intimidating old man stood to his full height, which was tall but nowhere close to Grady's two-meter form, and glowered down at the dwarfish Jerwon.
  • A small dwarfish creature, largely hidden by rag coverings with a protruding hook of a nose and sparkling yellow eyes emerged from the heavy undergrowth.


Old English dweorg, dweorh, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dwerg and German Zwerg.

Words that rhyme with dwarf

corf, morph, orfe, Orff, swarf, wharf, Whorf

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dwarf

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