• WordNet 3.6
    • n Pygmy any member of various peoples having an average height of less than five feet
    • n pygmy an unusually small individual
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Anthropologists use a standard height of 4 feet 11 inches to determine if a group of people are pygmies. The average adult male must be less than 59 inches in height.
    • Pygmy Hence, a short, insignificant person; a dwarf.
    • a Pygmy Of or pertaining to a pygmy; resembling a pygmy or dwarf; dwarfish; very small. "Like that Pygmean race."
    • Pygmy (Class. Myth) One of a fabulous race of dwarfs who waged war with the cranes, and were destroyed.
    • Pygmy 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. "Pygmies are pygmies still, though perched on Alps.
      And pyramids are pyramids in vales."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n Pygmy [capitalized] One of a fabulous race of dwarfs, mentioned by various ancient authors. The Pygmies (Pygmæi, with an eponymic ancestor Pygmæus) of Greek fable were represented by Homer as dwelling on the southern shores of Ocean, and as being warred upon by the cranes in their annual migrations. Later writers placed them in India and elsewhere. The African Pygmies described by Herodotus, and hitherto supposed to be equally fabulous, were apparently the same as the remarkable race or races of dwarfs found by recent explorers in various parts of equatorial Africa, especially those discovered by Stanley (1888) in the forests of the upper Congo region.
    • n Pygmy Hence A little or dwarfish person; a dwarf; also, anything very small of its kind.
    • n Pygmy The chimpanzee: perhaps as the supposed original of the fabled Pygmies.
    • Pygmy Belonging to or resembling a pygmy; pygmean; dwarfish: very small of its kind; little.
    • Pygmy In zoology, very small of its kind; dwarfish or dwarf: applied to many animals.
    • Pygmy To make like a pygmy; dwarf.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Pygmy pig′mi one of a fabulous dwarfish race of antiquity: a dwarf: any diminutive thing: one of several pygmy races in equatorial Africa and elsewhere: one of the ancient diminutive dwellers in underground houses, &c., in whom David MacRitchie sees the historical originals of the fairies and elves of folklore
    • adj Pygmy resembling a pygmy: very small
    • ***


  • Honore De Balzac
    “Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.”
  • Basil O'Connor
    Basil O'Connor
    “The world cannot continue to wage war like physical giants and to seek peace like intellectual pygmies.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. pygmaeus, Gr. , fr. the fist, a measure of length, the distance from the elbow to the knuckles, about 131 inches. Cf. Pugnacious Fist


In literature:

Midgets are neither dwarfs, runts, pygmies, nor Lilliputians.
"David Lannarck, Midget" by George S. Harney
Then, like pygmies beside some mighty prehistoric monster, they made their way along its side, seeking a door.
"The Black Star Passes" by John W Campbell
The pygmies were a nation of dwarfs always at war with the cranes of Scythia.
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama" by E. Cobham Brewer
Mr. Gladstone applied himself with the utmost gravity to the affairs of a pygmy state with a total population under 250,000.
"The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by John Morley
For we are no pygmies, you and I.
"Chivalry" by James Branch Cabell
A shot came from the group of Pygmy figures.
"Beyond the Vanishing Point" by Raymond King Cummings
They are so small in stature that by some scholars they are classed with pygmy peoples.
"Wealth of the World's Waste Places and Oceania" by Jewett Castello Gilson
Between these two immensities on the narrow strand at the foot of the wall, I stood, pygmy indeed.
"The Thing from the Lake" by Eleanor M. Ingram
France watched the giant and the pygmy fighting together, and learned several lessons while she was watching.
"Southern Stories" by Various
Like so many pygmies they looked now, fussy and excited, perspiring profusely despite the cool breeze of this early dawn.
""Unto Caesar"" by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

In poetry:

This is my bark,--a pygmy's ship;
Beneath a child it rolls;
Fear not,--one body makes it dip,
But not a thousand souls.
"After A Lecture On Wordsworth" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
And then we said: "The giants old
Are lost beyond retrieval;
This pygmy growth the axe has spared
Is not the wood primeval.
"The Wood Giant" by John Greenleaf Whittier
With fitful blasts and jets of steam
They weave the fretting channel rips,
And thread the traffic of the stream
Like pygmies in the world of ships.
"Harbor Tug" by Burt Franklin Jenness
Ay, when he built it that some day
Discord or war their course might stay,
Or here might break their car;
And in our streets to put to shame
Pygmies that bear the hero's name
Of Greek and Roman war,—
"To The Napoleon Column" by Victor Marie Hugo
And though pygmies high placed in our councils yet fool us,
In our woods there's a Giant upgrowing the while -
The Spirit of Liberty destined to rule us,
And cheer on the world from the great Austral Isle!
"Never Mind" by Charles Harpur

In news:

17 Very Cute Pygmy Goats That Look Like Scarlett Johansson in Jonah Peretti's BuzzFeed Strategy Memo.
Last of Oregon Zoo's pygmy rabbits released near Ephrata.
Pygmy Rabbits Successful Breeding A Step Forward.
Firefighters in Prince George's County made an unusual rescue on Thursday after two pygmy goats got loose in traffic.
Righteous Acid(Sun Ark), Buk Buk Big Ups, Simi, DJ Carribean Pygmy at L street and Duke, DAVIS.
Prehistoric Pygmy Sea Cow Discovered in Madagascar.
This week's cute endangered animal is the pygmy rabbit, which hails from my home state of Oregon, as well as Washington and Idaho.
Here's some photos of my Pygmy Coho -- it's one of the limited edition Sapele models.
Byeragi Ngenderezi is chief of about 160 families of Congo Pygmies , who cannot pursue their traditional hunting and gathering in their new environment.
Rare pygmy rabbits reproducing in Washington sagebrush.
Zoo raises & releases rare pygmy rabbits.
Pygmy rabbits face possible last stand in the state.
Next week, scientists plan to release about 100 young pygmy rabbits, each one the size of a tennis ball.
Rare pygmy rabbits reproducing in Washington sagebrush .
Denise's pygmy seahorse : O.J.Brett, Norway, via Wikimedia Commons.

In science:

There are several other interesting excitation modes at lower energy – including the low–lying isovector magnetic orbital dipole or scissors mode with J Π = 1+ (Bohle et al., 1984; Richter, 1995) and the electric pygmy dipole resonance with J Π = 1− (both spin assignments applying to even–even nuclei).
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics
Work at Darmstadt has been focused on both the scissors mode (Enders et al., 2000) and the electric pygmy dipole resonance (Enders et al., 2004).
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics
Statistical measures have been used in order to identify the character of the mode in the case of the scissors mode (Enders et al., 2000) and of the pygmy dipole resonance (Enders et al., 2004).
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics
The electric pygmy dipole resonance is so named because of its small strength relative to the giant electric dipole resonance.
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics
In heavy nuclei, the pygmy resonance is located at excitation energies around 5 to 7 MeV.
Random Matrices and Chaos in Nuclear Physics