A pygmy is a member of an ethnic group whose average height is unusually short; anthropologists define pygmy as a member of any group where adult men are on average less than 150 cm (59 inches) tall. A member of a slightly taller group is termed "pygmoid". The term is best associated with peoples of Central Africa, such as the Aka, Efé and Mbuti. If the term pygmy is defined as a group's men having an average height below 1.55 meters, then there are also pygmies in Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Andaman Islands Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Bolivia, and Brazil, including some Negritos of Southeast Asia.
The term "pygmy" is sometimes considered pejorative. However, there is no single term to replace it. Many prefer to be identified by their ethnicity, such as the Aka (Mbenga), Baka, Mbuti, and Twa. The term Bayaka, the plural form of the Aka/Yaka, is sometimes used in the Central African Republic to refer to all local pygmies. Likewise, the Kongo word Bambenga is used in Congo.