dwarf n Dwarf, pygmy, midget, manikin, homunculus, runt are comparable when they mean an individual and usually a person of diminutive size.
Dwarf is the general term not only for a human being but for any animal or plant that is definitely below the normal size of its kind; often the term suggests stunted development

his [the fool's] value was trebled in the eyes of the king by the fact of his being also a dwarf and a cripple— Poe

Pygmy originally was applied to one of a race of fabled dwarfs mentioned by Homer and others; now it is used especially of one of a people of small stature found in central Africa. In general application the term carries a stronger connotation of diminutiveness and a weaker suggestion of arrested development than dwarf, when used in reference to a person, it often implies relative tininess, sometimes in body but more often in intellect

to him all the men I ever knew were pygmies. He was an intellectual giant— Byron

Midget stresses abnormal diminutiveness but, unlike dwarf carries little suggestion of malformation or deformity; the term is applied usually to a tiny but otherwise more or less normally shaped person exhibited in a circus or employed in place of a child in theatrical performances

P. T. Barnum's famous midget, Tom Thumb

Manikin is often applied not only to a dwarf but to any human being who for one reason or another seems despicably small or weak

can it be fancied that Deity ever vindictively made in his image a manikin merely to madden it?— Poe

Often it suggests an animated doll

a bright-eyed little manikin, naked like all his people— Forester

Homunculus usually suggests even greater diminutiveness and often greater perfection in form than midget; it is the specific term for an exceedingly small artificial human being such as was supposedly developed by Paracelsus, a famous Renaissance alchemist.
Runt, usually a contemptuous designation, applies to a dwarf or undersized person, especially to one who is conspicuously puny or undeveloped

I always did admire a good, sizable, stout man. I hate a runtMcClure's Mag.

The term is also applied to an animal, especially a domestic animal, small of its kind; and it is used specifically of the undersized one of a litter (as of pigs)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Dwarf — may refer to: A person with dwarfism Dwarf (Germanic mythology), a being from Germanic mythology and folklore. Contents 1 Biology 2 Modern popular culture …   Wikipedia

  • dwarf — dwarf; dwarf·ish; dwarf·ism; dwarf·ling; dwarf·ness; sub·dwarf; semi·dwarf; dwarf·ish·ly; dwarf·ish·ness; …   English syllables

  • Dwarf — Dwarf, n.; pl. {Dwarfs}. [OE. dwergh, dwerf, dwarf, AS. dweorg, dweorh; akin to D. dwerg, MHG. twerc, G. zwerg, Icel. dvergr, Sw. & Dan. dverg; of unknown origin.] 1. An animal or plant which is much below the ordinary size of its species or kind …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dwarf — [dwôrf] n. pl. dwarfs or dwarves [dwôrvz] [ME dwerf, dwergh < OE dweorg, akin to Ger zwerg < IE * dhwergh , prob. < base * dhwer , to trick, injure > Sans dhvarati, (he) injures] 1. any human being, animal, or plant that is much… …   English World dictionary

  • Dwarf — Dwarf, v. i. To become small; to diminish in size. [1913 Webster] Strange power of the world that, the moment we enter it, our great conceptions dwarf. Beaconsfield. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dwarf — [adj] miniature, tiny baby, diminutive, low, petite, pocket, small, undersized; concept 773 Ant. big, giant, huge, large dwarf [n] very small person bantam, dwarfling, homunculus, Lilliputian*, midget, Tom Thumb*; concept 424 Ant. giant dwarf …   New thesaurus

  • dwarf — ► NOUN (pl. dwarfs or dwarves) 1) a member of a mythical race of short, stocky human like creatures. 2) an abnormally small person. 3) (before another noun ) (of an animal or plant) much smaller than is usual for its type or species. 4) (also… …   English terms dictionary

  • Dwarf — Dwarf, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Dwarfed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Dwarfing}.] To hinder from growing to the natural size; to make or keep small; to stunt. Addison. [1913 Webster] Even the most common moral ideas and affections . . . would be stunted and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dwarf — dwarf. См. нанизм. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • dwarf — index lessen, minimize Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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