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Pygmy   Listen
noun
Pygmy  n.  (pl. pygmies)  (Written also pigmy)  
1.
(Class. Myth.) One of a fabulous race of dwarfs who waged war with the cranes, and were destroyed.
2.
Hence, a short, insignificant person; a dwarf.
3.
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."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Pygmy" Quotes from Famous Books



... &c adj.; smallness &c (of quantity) 32; exiguity, inextension^; parvitude^, parvity^; duodecimo^; Elzevir edition, epitome, microcosm; rudiment; vanishing point; thinness &c 203. dwarf, pygmy, pigmy^, Liliputian, chit, pigwidgeon^, urchin, elf; atomy^, dandiprat^; doll, puppet; Tom Thumb, Hop-o'-my-thumb^; manikin, mannikin; homunculus, dapperling^, cock-sparrow. animalcule, monad, mite, insect, emmet^, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... pray cease your pretensions to promotion till the people discover your merit. If you are honest, great and wise you will certainly be noticed and promoted—if you are pygmy politicians, the mushroom growth of an hour, dressed only with the little brief authority of self created delegates to a self created convention to aggrandise yourselves, then probably you will live with little further notice, and it will only be said hereafter ...
— Count The Cost • Jonathan Steadfast

... of disaster and terror stricken San Francisco was absolutely under the control of General Funston, a few facts about his career will be appropriate here. Red-headed, red-blooded; a pygmy in stature, a giant in experience; true son of Romany in peace and of Erin in war—the capture of Aguinaldo in the wilds of North Luzon and his control of affairs in San Francisco fairly top off the adventurous career ...
— Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror • Richard Linthicum

... a mile above the heads of the pygmy crowd who watched him the little South American maneuvered his air-ship, turning circles and figure eights with and against the breeze, too busy with his rudder, his vibrating little engine, his shifting bags of ballast, and the great palpitating bag of yellow silk above him, to think of ...
— Stories of Inventors - The Adventures Of Inventors And Engineers • Russell Doubleday

... our model. Everything grows, even the small things, unless they're predestined to a Lilliput existence. A child can learn from another child, of course, but the model is the adult. Some day the child will be an adult itself. A pretty state of affairs it would be if an eternal child, a born pygmy, were to be its model! But that's what all this rubbish about Switzerland really amounts to. Why on earth should we, of all people, take the smallest and meanest country as our model? Things are small enough here anyhow. Switzerland is the serf of Europe. Have you ever heard ...
— Look Back on Happiness • Knut Hamsun

... gazing up at him, a pygmy flashed with sun. A weathercock or scarecrow or both things in one? As bright as a jewelled crown hung ...
— Men, Women and Ghosts • Amy Lowell

... out of water for slumber, and crept under the jungle-roof and spied upon the snow-white saucy cockatoos, the fierce ospreys, the heavy- flighted buzzards, the lories and kingfishers, and the absurdly garrulous little pygmy parrots. ...
— Jerry of the Islands • Jack London

... here to fell the oak," replied the pygmy. "I am a god and a hero from the tribes that ...
— National Epics • Kate Milner Rabb

... amongst them the Great Britain, crowd the docks; fleets of merchantmen are seen on the Mersey, sailing to and from the port; and in the busy streets, so minutely delineated that any particular house may be distinguished, numerous vehicles are seen, and hundreds, too, of pygmy men and women are observed walking in the public ways. In short; it is Liverpool in a glass case, and no mean ...
— Young Americans Abroad - Vacation in Europe: Travels in England, France, Holland, - Belgium, Prussia and Switzerland • Various

... not an extreme type. One may judge from modern pygmy and Bushmen that his color was reddish or yellow, and his skull was sometimes round like the Mongolian. He entered Africa not less than fifty thousand years ago and settled eventually in the broad region between ...
— The Negro • W.E.B. Du Bois

... Achitophel was first; A name to all succeeding ages cursed: For close designs and crooked counsels fit; Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit; Restless, unfixed in principles and place; In power unpleased, impatient of disgrace: A fiery soul, which, working out its way, Fretted the pygmy body to decay.... A daring pilot in extremity, Pleased with the danger, when the waves went high He sought the storms: but for a calm unfit, Would steer too nigh the sands to boast his wit. Great wits are sure to madness near allied, ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... "And it is not Paris alone, it is all France, which, with us, entreats you to decide upon delivering her from this tyrant. All is ready; nothing is wanting but a sign from your august head to annihilate this pygmy, who has attempted to assault ...
— Cinq Mars, Complete • Alfred de Vigny

... modern hunter for the picturesque, who after wearying himself with the follies of a capital seeks the most violent tonic that he can find in the lonely terrors of glacier and peak, and sees only tameness in a pygmy island, that offers nothing sublimer than a high grassy terrace, some cool over-branching avenues, some mimic vales, and meadows and vineyards sloping down to the sheet of blue water at their feet. Yet, as one sits here ...
— Rousseau - Volumes I. and II. • John Morley

... Bernard and the Miniature Black and Tan Terrier, and is perplexed in contemplating the possibility of their having descended from a common progenitor. Yet the disparity is no greater than that between the Shire horse and the Shetland pony, the Shorthorn and the Kerry cattle, or the Patagonian and the Pygmy; and all dog breeders know how easy it is to produce a variety in type ...
— Dogs and All About Them • Robert Leighton

... the scientific observation of pygmy people are illustrated in No. 21 and Nos. 22-25 respectively. Though much has been written about the Pygmies, Messrs. Skeat and Blagden's account of the Semang people is by far ...
— Folklore as an Historical Science • George Laurence Gomme

... nevertheless, did not fail to admire the pygmy's courage; "if you do not answer the questions satisfactorily I am going to put to you. I am the burgomaster of Hirschwiller; here are the rural guard, the shepherd and his dog. We are stronger than ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... hope that what I am writing may one day reach your hands—has not forsaken me, even in my confinement, and the extensive though unimportant details into which I have been hurried, renders it necessary that I commence another sheet. Fortunately, my pygmy characters comprehend a great many words within a small space ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... other all the aid, and avert all the harm, that might be in our power. This affair settled, a marvellous jollity entered into the whole tribe of us, manifesting itself characteristically in each individual. The old showman, sitting down to his barrel-organ, stirred up the souls of the pygmy people with one of the quickest tunes in the music-book; tailors, blacksmiths, gentlemen, and ladies, all seemed to share in the spirit of the occasion; and the Merry-Andrew played his part more facetiously than ever, nodding and winking particularly at me. The young foreigner flourished ...
— The Seven Vagabonds (From "Twice Told Tales") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... if any shifting emotion caused her to turn pale, there was the mark again, a crimson stain upon the snow, in what Aylmer sometimes deemed an almost fearful distinctness. Its shape bore not a little similarity to the human hand, though of the smallest pygmy size. Georgiana's lovers were wont to say that some fairy at her birth-hour had laid her tiny hand upon the infant's cheek, and left this impress there in token of the magic endowments that were to give her such sway over all hearts. Many a desperate swain would have risked life for the privilege ...
— Short-Stories • Various

... king, who loved a jest, summoned his court to a meadow to witness the race, and to see what the bumptious pygmy could do. Everybody was on tiptoe of expectation, being sure that something ...
— ZigZag Journeys in Northern Lands; - The Rhine to the Arctic • Hezekiah Butterworth

... and at last the governor allowed me to join, but wouldn't let Noel off, because he was disgusted with him, he was such a cry-baby. Yes, and much good he'll do the King's service; he'll eat for six and run for sixteen. I hate a pygmy with half a ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the Dreadful Bird Stamped his huge footprints, and the Fearful Beast Strode with the flesh about those fossil bones We build to mimic life with pygmy hands,— Not in those earliest days when men ran wild And gashed each other with their knives of stone, When their low foreheads bulged in ridgy brows And their flat hands were callous in the palm With walking in the ...
— The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Complete • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... work with ardor. It was a touching spectacle to see this little handful of men taxing their pygmy muscles to resist the forces of nature—trying with anchors, chains, and planks to fill up the fissures made in the ice and to cover them with snow, so that there might be a uniformity of motion among the mass. After four or five hours of almost superhuman exertions, and when ...
— The Waif of the "Cynthia" • Andre Laurie and Jules Verne

... it, as Jack London tells us, by "going into the waste places, and there sitting down with our souls." There comes then, the overwhelming realization of the charms and beauties of nature—man is a pygmy, an abstraction, an unreality. This had come to our hero. Added to the strength of his inner life Livingstone had the deep sympathy with Nature in all her moods. He became enthusiastic when he described the beauties of the Moero scenery. ...
— Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence - The Best Speeches Delivered by the Negro from the days of - Slavery to the Present Time • Various

... butler's pantry! Our dear, natty little buttons! Bullets glide off him!" snarled Pilzer, who had set out to win a bronze cross, only to see it won by a pygmy. ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... turret this time, and emerged into the loftiest lantern, where we saw level Lincolnshire, far and near, though with a haze on the distant horizon. There were dusty roads, a river, and canals, converging towards Boston, which—a congregation of red-tiled roofs—lay beneath our feet, with pygmy people creeping about its narrow streets. We were three hundred feet aloft, and the pinnacle on which we stood is a landmark ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... them below, a lot of pygmy figures, issuing from the hypostyle hall, and making their way towards us. Mean and pitiful they look in their twentieth-century travellers' costumes, hurrying along that avenue where once defiled so many processions ...
— Egypt (La Mort De Philae) • Pierre Loti

... colored landscape, quarter of an inch wide; a tragic and comic mask, just big enough for a gnome; a cross of the Legion of Honor; a wallet, opening with a spring, and disclosing compartments just of a size for the Keeper of the Privy Purse of the Fairy Queen; a dagger for a pygmy; two minute daguerreotypes of friends, each as large as a small pea, in a gold case; an opera-glass; Faith, Hope, and Charity represented by a golden heart and anchor, and I forget what,—a little harp; I cannot remember any ...
— Memories of Hawthorne • Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

... foxes with which the thickets of the great forest of Societas abounded, it is but a step to the Pygmy tribes whom we found inhabiting the tract of country between the Uperten and the Suburban rivers. The Pygmies are as old as Swelldom, as ubiquitous as Boredom, the two secular pests of the earth. ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 98, May 17, 1890. • Various

... coughs. In explanation the Ute philosopher would tell us that an u-nu-pits—a pygmy spirit of evil—had entered the poor man's stomach, and he would charge the invalid with having whistled at night; for in their philosophy it is taught that if a man whistles at night, when the pygmy spirits are ...
— Sketch of the Mythology of the North American Indians • John Wesley Powell

... forest of graceful needles, shimmering in the amber sunlight, rose slowly above the pygmy housetops, as one sometimes sees, in the far horizon, a gilded and pinnacled mass of cloud lift itself above the waste of waves, at sea,—the Cathedral! We knew ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... it was an impressive one. The great trunks ran up far aloft, tremendous columns, before their brighter portions were lost in the vaulted roof of somber greenery. They dwarfed the rig and team; she felt herself a pygmy ...
— Vane of the Timberlands • Harold Bindloss

... imperious thirst for glory instead of devotion to the good; always the ambitious artist, never the citizen, the believer, the man. Chateaubriand posed all his life as the wearied Colossus, smiling pitifully upon a pygmy world, and contemptuously affecting to desire nothing from it, though at the same time wishing it to be believed that he could if he pleased possess himself of everything by mere force of genius. He is the type of an untoward race, and the father ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... grades of one's achievements back to the A, B, C of things. One had once been a pygmy part of the Primer World on the first floor one's self, and from there had gazed upward at the haloed beings peopling these same ...
— Emmy Lou - Her Book and Heart • George Madden Martin

... over the world. Stanley cut a track through the endless African forests. But it lay between the Pygmy villages, along the paths they had made, and through the glades where they fought their ...
— Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20) - Wonders of Earth, Sea and Sky • Various

... from pygmy ways afar, He feels the heft of sun and star,— He traces winding paths that go Beyond the ways that dullards know, And sails swift thoughts across the seas Of ...
— Oklahoma Sunshine • Freeman E. (Freeman Edwin) Miller

... silence, as if conscious of his short-comings; the Egyptian's eyes flashed, and, with an amazingly low bend of his supple spine, he announced that, more than three hours since, he had discovered a most abominable caricature in clay, representing Caesar as a soldier in a horrible pygmy form. ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers



Words linked to "Pygmy" :   pygmy mouse, small person, pigmy, pygmy chimpanzee, pygmy cypress, pygmy marmoset, pygmy sperm whale



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