Difference Between Gnome and Dwarf (with Table)

Gnome and dwarfs are two mythical creatures. They both have human-like features and are smaller in size. They are both very different creatures by somehow over the years the pictorial representation of both these characters somewhere got similar. Gnomes are now more of a lookalike of dwarfs, this all happened following the image of dwarfs from the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs.

Gnomes are mythical creatures. It was first created by Paracelsus in the renaissance period. According to him, genomes are earth dwellers. Gnomes are not friendly to human beings and avoid them in most situations. Dwarfs are also a mythical creature. It was first originated in Norse mythology it is said it was first created between the 10th and 13th century. Dwarfs are portrayed as a friendlier creature. Though its origin was way back from the 10th–13th-century dwarves got popularized after the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs.

The difference between gnome and dwarf is that gnome lives in the underground. Whereas dwarf lives in the forest, mountains, and underground. Gnome does not like human interaction and avoids it whereas dwarf is a much friendlier character and likes human interaction.

Comparison Table Between Gnome and Dwarf

Parameter of ComparisonGnomeDwarf
OriginIt was originated in the renaissance period by ParacelsusIt was the origin in the Norse mythology
Dwelling StateThe live undergroundThey live in forest, mountains and underground
NatureTheydo not like human interaction andavoid human beingsThey are friendly creatures
Pictorial RepresentationThey look more like dwarfs after the dwarfs from snow white and the seven dwarfs movieThey are portrayed as short and ugly creatures
CharacterThey are smart and creative in natureThey are wise creatures

What is Gnome?                                     

Gnome is a mythical creature, it first originated by Paracelsus rooting back to the renaissance period, eventually adopted by fiction fantasy authors. Paracelsus was a renowned physician from the renaissance period. He was an astrologer, botanist, and alchemist. Gnome initially meant “earth dweller”. Gnomes are considered earth elemental. Gnomes are small creatures’ who live underground. They have a human-like feature. Gnomes tend to avoid humans and swim through the earth in that process.

Gnomes are described as ugly, hot-tempered immortal creatures with round bodies, spindle legs, and arms, they have a long beard and wild hair. Gnomes live underground and protect jewels and precious metals. There has been no reference made about the female gnome. Gnomes are crafty, intelligent, and tech-savvy. It is also mentioned certain times that gnome was initially mechanical creatures.

Gnomes are usually considered harmless but mischievous. They might bite with their sharp teeth. Gnome figures are used as garden décor or ornaments during the 19th century, they are known as a garden gnome. The visual representation of gnomes changed further in the 1960s and 1970s gnomes were give features like dwarfs depicting the features of dwarfs from the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs.


What is Dwarf?

The dwarf is a mythical character that first originated in Norse mythology in form of oral narrations between the 10th century -13th century. It is said that the “dwarf” term originated from the old Norse word “dvegr”, old English “dweorg” and old German word “gitwerc” and “zwerc”.

Dwarfs are often linked with death as they tricked and messed around with humans. Dwarfs are considered as wise characters as god favored them with the ability to think. Dwarfs are also friendly creatures. They live underground as well as in forests and mountains. They are represented as short and ugly creatures.

Dwarfs in folklore are mentioned as old men with long white beards. Female dwarfs are rarely mentioned. Dwarfs were usually blacksmiths and stone man by profession. Dwarfs can be further classified under seven breeds namely – long beards, fire beards, broad beams, iron fists, stiff beards, black locks, and stone foots. The lifespan of dwarfs is dependent on which breed they are.


Main Differences Between Gnome and Dwarf

  1. Gnome as a mythical character originated in the renaissance period by Paracelsus. Dwarf as a mythical character originated between the 10th century – 13th century in form of Norse mythology in form of oral narrations.
  2. Gnomes live underground whereas dwarfs live on mountains, forests as well as underground.
  3. Gnomes’ are not human-friendly they do not like human interaction and on most occasions hide and avoid them. Dwarfs are a friendlier creature.
  4. Gnomes in recent years have been pictured as dwarfs, depicting the features of the dwarfs from the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs. Gnomes are also now used as garden décor or ornaments known as a garden gnome. Dwarfs are pictured as small human-like creatures with ugly features. They are usually picturedas old men with long white beards.
  5. Gnomes are smart and creative creatures. They are also tech-savvy. Dwarfs on the other hand are wise creatures, god gifted them with the capability to think.
  6. The reference of the female genome has not been made whereas on few very rare occasions the references of female dwarfs have been made.


Genome and dwarf are mythical characters. Their reference has been heard in folklores and fantasy stories. The idea of dwarfs was popularized in the 19th century due to the movie snow white and the seven dwarfs. While this movie popularized this creature this movie also created a lot of confusion between the two creature gnome and dwarf. The gnome and dwarfs are two very different creatures and can be distinguished based on origin, dwelling state, nature, pictorial representation, and character.

Gnomes are mythical characters that originated during the renaissance period byParacelsus. They do not like human interaction and prefer avoiding humans. They are smart, creative, and tech-savvy. Dwarfs are also a mythical character that was brought up in Norse mythology during the 10th century – 13th century. They are small ugly human-like creatures they are usually old men with long beards.


  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1978942.1979052
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2752/174063106779090730
  3. https://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=psar.029.0233a
  4. http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/576