gnome 1[nohm] SynonymsExamplesWord Originnoun
- (in folklore) one of a species of diminutive beings, usually described as shriveled little old men, that inhabit the interior of the earth and act as guardians of its treasures; troll.
- an expert in monetary or financial affairs; international banker or financier: the gnomes of Zurich.
- a short, pithy expression of a general truth; aphorism.
Origin of gnome 2First recorded in 1570–80, gnome is from the Greek word gnṓmē judgment, opinion, purpose Related Words for gnome fairy, elf Examples from the Web for gnome Contemporary Examples of gnome
Strong: Was the gnome in Project X based on our experience taking a gnome across Europe?
Michael Bacall, Danny Strong
March 9, 2012
Historical Examples of gnome
Then poor Bornier, who resembled a Breton gnome, came up to me.
It was the unlucky boat, the boat that was haunted by the gnome.
“It’s like a fairy-tale, and going into the gnome’s hill,” fluttered Magsie.
The gnome picked up my bag, but was interrupted by my new friend.
Edwin L. Sabin
“Well, you wait and see what sort of a bubble I’ll blow,” replied the Gnome.
British Dictionary definitions for gnome gnome 1 noun
- one of a species of legendary creatures, usually resembling small misshapen old men, said to live in the depths of the earth and guard buried treasure
- the statue of a gnome, esp in a garden
- a very small or ugly person
- facetious, or derogatory an international banker or financier (esp in the phrase gnomes of Zürich)
Derived Formsgnomish, adjectiveWord Origin for gnome C18: from French, from New Latin gnomus, coined by Paracelsus, of obscure origin gnome 2 noun
- a short pithy saying or maxim expressing a general truth or principle
Word Origin for gnome C16: from Greek gnōmē, from gignōskein to know Word Origin and History for gnome n.
“dwarf-like earth-dwelling spirit,” 1712, from French gnome, from Modern Latin gnomus, used 16c. in a treatise by Paracelsus, who gave the name pigmaei or gnomi to elemental earth beings, possibly from Greek *genomos “earth-dweller” (cf. thalassonomos “inhabitant of the sea”). A less-likely suggestion is that Paracelsus based it on the homonym that means “intelligence” (preserved in gnomic). Popular in children’s literature 19c. as a name for red-capped German and Swiss folklore dwarfs. Garden figurines first imported to England late 1860s from Germany.