Etymology
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miniature (n.)

1580s, "a reduced image, anything represented on a greatly reduced scale," especially a painting of very small dimensions, from Italian miniatura "manuscript illumination or small picture," from past participle of miniare "to illuminate a manuscript," from Latin miniare "to paint red," from minium "red lead," used in ancient times to make red ink, a word said to be of Iberian origin. Sense development is because pictures in medieval manuscripts were small, but no doubt there was influence as well from the similar-sounding Latin words that express smallness: minor, minimus, minutus, etc.

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miniature (adj.)

"on a small scale, much reduced from natural size," 1714, from miniature (n.). Of dog breeds, from 1889. Of golf played on a miniature course, from 1893.

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miniaturist (n.)

"maker of miniatures, one who paints small pictures," 1800, from miniature (n.) + -ist.

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miniaturize (v.)

"make on a smaller or miniature scale," especially using modern technology, 1946, from miniature (adj.) + -ize. Minify in same sense is from 1670s, on analogy of magnify; it also meant "to make of less value or importance." Related: Miniaturized; miniaturizing.

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twee (adj.)
"tiny, dainty, miniature," 1905, from childish pronunciation of sweet (adj.). Compare tummy from stomach.
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dollhouse (n.)

also doll-house, "miniature toy house made for dolls," 1764, from doll (n.) + house (n.). The form doll's house is attested by 1783. Ibsen's play (1879) is, in Norwegian, "Et dukkehjem." 

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go-cart (n.)
also gocart, 1670s, originally "a litter, sedan chair;" also "an infant's walker" (1680s), from go + cart (n.). Later also of hand carts (1759). The modern form go-kart (1959) was coined in reference to a kind of miniature racing car with a frame body and a two-stroke engine.
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locket (n.)
mid-14c., "iron cross-bar of a window," from Old French loquet "door-handle, bolt, latch, fastening" (14c.), diminutive of loc "lock, latch," from Frankish or some other Germanic source (compare Old Norse lok "fastening, lock;" see lock (n.1)). Meaning "little ornamental case with hinged cover" (containing a lock of hair, miniature portrait, etc.) first recorded 1670s. Italian lucchetto also is from Germanic.
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microcosm (n.)

late 12c., mycrocossmos (modern form from early 15c.), "human nature, man viewed as the epitome of creation," literally "miniature world" (applied metaphorically to the human frame by philosophers, hence a favorite word with medieval writers to signify "a man"), from Medieval Latin microcosmus, from Greek mikros "small" (see micro-) + kosmos "world" (see cosmos).

General sense of "a community constituting a world unto itself, a little society" is attested from 1560s, perhaps from French microcosme. A native expression in the same sense was petty world (c. 1600).

Forrþi mahht tu nemmnenn mann Affterr Grikkishe spæche Mycrocossmos, þat nemmnedd iss Affterr Ennglisshe spæche Þe little werelld. ["Ormulum," c. 1175]

And the Anglo-Saxon glossaries have læsse middaneard.

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cameo (n.)
early 15c., kaadmaheu, camew, chamehieux and many other spellings (from early 13c. in Anglo-Latin), "engraving in relief upon a precious stone with two layers of colors" (such as onyx, agate, or shell) and done so as to utilize the effect of the colors, from Old French camaieu and directly from Medieval Latin cammaeus, which is of unknown origin, perhaps ultimately from Arabic qamaa'il "flower buds," or Persian chumahan "agate."

In 19c. also used of other raised, carved work on a miniature scale. Transferred sense of "small character or part that stands out from other minor parts" in a play, etc., is from 1928, from earlier meaning "short literary sketch or portrait" (1851), a transferred sense from cameo silhouettes. A cameotype (1864) was a small, vignette daguerreotype mounted in a jeweled setting.
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