Why was clemency trending last week?


[nohm] /noʊm/
(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.
Origin of gnome1
1705-15; < French < New Latin gnomus, perhaps < Greek gnṓmē; see gnome2
Related forms
gnomish, adjective
1. See goblin, sylph.


[nohm, noh-mee] /noʊm, ˈnoʊ mi/
a short, pithy expression of a general truth; aphorism.
1570-80; < Greek gnṓmē judgment, opinion, purpose Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gnome
  • Thwarted in lust, stewing in rage, the gnome turns to greed and vengeance.
  • All trusted him completely, regarding this genial gnome as something of a financial genius.
  • Rather than steal the sign, they grabbed a gnome planted next to it.
  • gnome is truly a bizarre character and the perfect subject for a film.
  • Most of these small gardens are beautifully kept and the garden gnome has pride of place.
  • The invisible gnome in my glove compartment has already killed two people.
  • For the forest gnome who has everything: a cheese-puff bracelet.
  • The research clearly overlooks the sizable, super-intellectual gnome population living in the subway tunnels.
  • Definition of gnome sort, possibly with links to more information and implementations.
British Dictionary definitions for gnome


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 Forms
gnomish, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French, from New Latin gnomus, coined by Paracelsus, of obscure origin


a short pithy saying or maxim expressing a general truth or principle
Word Origin
C16: from Greek gnōmē, from gignōskein to know
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gnome

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gnome



An anonymous expert, esp a statistician or an industrious observer of trends; bean counter: The Gnomes of Baseball/ the inhibitions of sports announcers whose minds have been studied by small-town station managers and network gnomes

[mid-1960s+; the term is being extended from the first use, gnomes of Zurich, coined in 1964 and designating the faceless little men who take account of and in part determine the curiosities of the international money market]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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gnome in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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