Nain assis (Seated Dwarf, 19th century), a painting in the style of Spanish artist w:Francisco GoyaFrancisco Goya




  • Miniature.


  • To render (much) smaller, turn into a dwarf (version).
  • To make appear (much) smaller, puny, tiny.
  • To make appear insignificant.
  • To become (much) smaller.
  • To hinder from growing to the natural size; to make or keep small; to stunt.


  • From Middle English dwerf, dwergh, dwerw, dwerȝ, from Old English dweorh, dweorg, from Proto-West Germanic *dwerg, from Proto-Germanic *dwergaz.
  • Cognate with Scots dwerch; Old High German twerc (German Zwerg); Old Norse dvergr (Swedish dvärg); Old Frisian dwirg (West Frisian dwerch); Middle Low German dwerch, dwarch, twerg (German Low German Dwarg, Dwarch); Middle Dutch dwerch, dworch (Dutch dwerg).
  • The Modern English noun has undergone complex phonetic changes. The form dwarf is the regular continuation of dweorg, but the plural dweorgas would have given rise to dwarrows and the oblique stem dweorge- would have led to dwery. These forms are sometimes found as the nominative singular in Middle English texts and in English dialects. A parallel case is that of burg giving burgh, borough, burrow, bury.

Modern English dictionary

Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.

Word of the Day

Get a curated memorable word every day.

Challenge yourself

Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.

And much more

Try out Vedaist now.