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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gnome \Gnome\, n. [F. gnome, prob. fr. Gr. gnw`mon one that knows, a guardian, i. e., of the treasures in the inner parts of the earth, or fr. ? intelligence, both fr. gnw^nai, gignw^skein, to know. See Know.] 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. [1913 Webster] 2. A dwarf; a goblin; a person of small stature or misshapen features, or of strange appearance. [1913 Webster] 3. (Zool.) A small owl (Glaucidium gnoma) of the Western United States. [1913 Webster] 4. [Gr. ?.] A brief reflection or maxim. --Peacham. Gnomic