They're likely originally the same thing. Dwarves were from German Mythology (Odin, Thor, and friends) and Gnomes came around much later (Renaissance era) as a general earth elemental. Nowadays the major difference is usually that Gnomes are smart tiny people and Dwarves are strong tiny people.
Dwarves get along well with gnomes, who are often regarded as close cousins of the dwarven race. Dwarves are accepting of humans, half-elves and halflings.
Elves and dwarves go back to Norse mythology, while gnomes appeared much later. Dwarves and gnomes tend to have beards, whereas modern elves tend not to. Dwarves were originally friendly, gnomes — tricksters and elves — almost demi-gods. Now elves and gnomes are tricksters and dwarves are standoffish brutes.
Gnomes are, as per the mythologies of Renaissance period and later adopted by authors of modern literature, small, human-like creatures or humanoids who typically live underground. ... In modern fairy tales they have been described as small creatures that resemble the dwarfs of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Character Overview. In myths and tales, dwarfs and elves are small humanlike creatures, often endowed with magical powers. Dwarfs generally look like old men with long beards and are sometimes ugly or misshapen. Elves, known for their mischievous pranks, tend to be smaller in stature than dwarves.
Dwarves hate orcs because orcs are murder-rape monsters created by their evil got to murder-rape-destroy everything created by humans, dwarves, and elves.
In Norse mythology, Dwarves had a reason to hate giants because they were simply destructive and vicious. Dwarves are small and giants are huge.
Childbirth is a private time for gnome families. For the majority of the mother's pregnancy, she enjoys the company of her friends, family, and neighbors, who often visit with gifts and stories. A pregnant gnome is assured that her time is always full of fun and entertainment.
Garden gnomes are pure evil, and must be destroyed on sight. ... Gnomes are magickal creatures. They are often considered to be outdoorsy, but it's perfectly fine to keep them indoors. It's bad luck to break a gnome, or to treat them will ill intentions.
In folklore, a gnome can be either an intelligent race of elves who lives underground (the root is from gnomen meaning knowledge)) or in some magical systems an elemental creature made of the earth element alone with power over the element and a shape-shifter, like a salmander is of fire.
Unlike prior versions of Snow White, Disney named the dwarfs to fit their personalities. The seven dwarfs in the movie poster, from left to right are Grumpy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy and Sleepy.