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1. An imaginary being, supposed by the Rosicrucians to inhabit the inner parts of the earth, and to be the guardian of mines, quarries, etc.

2. A dwarf; a goblin; a person of small stature or misshapen features, or of strange appearance.

3. <zoology> A small owl (Glaucidium gnoma) of the Western United States.

4. [Gr] A brief reflection or maxim.

Origin: F. Gnome, prob. Fr. Gr. One that knows, a guardian, i. E, of the treasures in the inner parts of the earth, or fr. Intelligence, both fr, to know. See Know.

(01 Mar 1998)

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