adjective, narrower, narrowest.
of little breadth or width; not broad or wide; not as wide as usual or expected: a narrow path.
limited in extent or space; affording little room: narrow quarters.
limited in range or scope: a narrow sampling of public opinion.
lacking breadth of view or sympathy, as persons, the mind, or ideas: a narrow man, knowing only his professional specialty; a narrow mind.
with little margin to spare; barely adequate or successful; close: a narrow escape.
careful, thorough, or minute, as a scrutiny, search, or inquiry.
limited in amount; small; meager: narrow resources.
straitened; impoverished: narrow circumstances.
New England. stingy or parsimonious.
(of a vowel) articulated with the tongue laterally constricted, as the ee of beet, the oo of boot, etc.; tense. Compare lax ( def 7 ).
(of a phonetic transcription) utilizing a unique symbol for each phoneme and whatever supplementary diacritics are needed to indicate its subphonemic varieties. Compare broad ( def 14 ).
(of livestock feeds) proportionately rich in protein.
verb (used without object)
to decrease in width or breadth: This is where the road narrows.
verb (used with object)
to make narrower.
to limit or restrict (often followed by down ): to narrow an area of search; to narrow down a contest to three competitors.
to make narrow-minded: Living in that village has narrowed him.
a narrow part, place, or thing.
a narrow part of a valley, passage, or road.
narrows, (used with a singular or plural verb) a narrow part of a strait, river, ocean current, etc.
a narrow strait from upper to lower New York Bay, between Staten Island and Long Island. 2 miles (3.2 km) long; 1 mile (1.6 km) wide.

before 900; Middle English; Old English nearu; cognate with Old Saxon naru narrow, Dutch naar unpleasant; akin to German Narbe scar, literally, narrow mark

narrowly, adverb
narrowness, noun
overnarrow, adjective
overnarrowly, adverb
overnarrowness, noun
unnarrow, adjective
unnarrowly, adverb
unnarrowed, adjective

4. biased, limited, shallow, small-minded. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To narrow
World English Dictionary
narrow (ˈnærəʊ)
1.  small in breadth, esp in comparison to length
2.  limited in range or extent
3.  limited in outlook; lacking breadth of vision
4.  limited in means or resources; meagre: narrow resources
5.  barely adequate or successful (esp in the phrase a narrow escape)
6.  painstakingly thorough; minute: a narrow scrutiny
7.  finance Compare broad denoting an assessment of liquidity as including notes and coin in circulation with the public, banks' till money, and banks' balances: narrow money
8.  dialect overcareful with money; parsimonious
9.  phonetics
 a.  another word for tense
 b.  relating to or denoting a transcription used to represent phonetic rather than phonemic distinctions
 c.  another word for close
10.  (of agricultural feeds) especially rich in protein
11.  informal narrow squeak an escape only just managed
12.  to make or become narrow; limit; restrict
13.  a narrow place, esp a pass or strait
[Old English nearu; related to Old Saxon naru]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. nearu, from W.Gmc. *narwaz (cf. Fris. nar, O.S. naro, M.Du. nare), not found in other Gmc. languages and of unknown origin. The verb is O.E. nearwian, from the adj. Narrowly "only by a little" is attested from 1550s. Narrow-gauge railway is 4 feet 8.5 inches or less. The narrow seas (c.1400) were
the waters between Great Britain and the continent and Ireland.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idiom beginning with narrow, see straight and narrow.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
To show you as a narrow minded ideologue without independent thought, yes.
Each satellite has a small footprint, so its bandwidth can be used only in the narrow geographical area beneath it.
It does have narrow surface features, but they're too small to be seen at this resolution.
Narrow-minded nationalism leads to an ignorant, extremist, and violent world
Idioms & Phrases
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature