midget

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Diminutive of midge (from Old English mygg, mycg (gnat), from Proto-Germanic *mugjō; cognate with Dutch mug (mosquito) and German Mücke (midge, gnat)), using the suffix -et, originally (1865) for a "little sand fly", only around 1869 also a "very small person".

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Portrait of Sebastián de Morra (c. 1645) by Diego Velázquez. The subject of the painting, a midget or dwarf, was a jester at the court of Philip IV of Spain.

midget (plural midgets)

  1. (originally) A little sandfly.
    Although tiny and just two-winged, midgets can bite you manyfold till you itch all over your unprotected skin
  2. (loosely) Any small swarming insect similar to the mosquito; a midge
  3. A normally proportioned person with small stature, usually defined as reaching an adult height less than 4'10". [from later 19th c.]
  4. (sometimes derogatory) Any short person.
  5. (attributively) That is a small version of something; miniature
    the midget pony

Usage notes[edit]

  • Used for an insect, this is a variation on midge that is incorrect but commonly used.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

  • (derogatory: any small person): giant
  • (miniature): giant

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

loosely: a midge See midge

References[edit]

  • midget” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001). [1]