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Have you ever read a novel so well-written that the characters came alive? This week's words are about those fictional men and women who have walked off the pages of their books and entered the dictionary. Perhaps it's a testament to the genius of the authors that their imaginary creations are now part of the living language. Let's meet five of these words, also known as eponyms, this week.


adjective: Very small.
noun: A very small person.

After Lilliputians, people in the fictional island nation of Lilliput, in Jonathan Swift's satirical novel Gulliver's Travels. Everything was diminutive in Lilliput -- its inhabitants were six inches in height.

"Chantal Lacoste is exploring and mapping the chilly Lilliputian world of mesofauna, microscopic creatures living in and under the Arctic sea ice."
Peter Calamai; The Next Generation in the North; Toronto Star (Canada); Apr 5, 2008.

See more usage examples of lilliputian in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.


There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else. -Gen. Peyton C. March (1864-1955)

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