- 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.
- to decrease in width or breadth: This is where the road narrows.
- 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.
- The Narrows, 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.
Origin of narrow
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for narrow
What it endangers is a narrow conception of Russian power, understood through the eyes of its dictatorial leader.Oliver Stone’s Latest Dictator Suckup
January 5, 2015
By that time, SantaCon had already spread beyond the narrow confines of a few prankster-explorers.Before the Bros, SantaCon Was as an Anti-Corporate Protest
December 12, 2014
He has sunken eyes and a narrow black beard speckled with gray.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
It was a windowless, narrow room with a bed in the far left corner.A Murder in Detroit’s Sexual Underworld
October 8, 2014
In both cases, Toobin observed, the likely consequences of the rulings are far broader than the “narrow” decisions themselves.Supreme Court to Gay-Marriage Foes: Get Lost
October 6, 2014
He little knew how narrow an escape he had had of losing a third!The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
But the narrow path along which Andrew rode was a gantlet to him.Way of the Lawless
The one in which I sat was long and narrow, as all the rest had been, with peaked gables.Old Ticonderoga, A Picture of The Past
It was still, however, enveloped in a narrow belt of brigalow.
Down swooped the great cog into the narrow channel which was the portal to safety.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
- small in breadth, esp in comparison to length
- limited in range or extent
- limited in outlook; lacking breadth of vision
- limited in means or resources; meagrenarrow resources
- barely adequate or successful (esp in the phrase a narrow escape)
- painstakingly thorough; minutea narrow scrutiny
- finance denoting an assessment of liquidity as including notes and coin in circulation with the public, banks' till money, and banks' balancesnarrow money Compare broad (def. 14)
- dialect overcareful with money; parsimonious
- (of agricultural feeds) especially rich in protein
- narrow squeak informal an escape only just managed
- to make or become narrow; limit; restrict
- a narrow place, esp a pass or strait
Word Origin and History for narrow
Old English nearu "narrow, constricted, limited; petty; causing difficulty, oppressive; strict, severe," from West Germanic *narwaz "narrowness" (cf. Frisian nar, Old Saxon naru, Middle Dutch nare, Dutch naar); not found in other Germanic languages and of unknown origin. The narrow seas (c.1400) were the waters between Great Britain and the continent and Ireland. Related: Narrowness.
Old English nearwian "to force in, cramp, confine; become smaller, shrink;" see narrow (adj.). Related: Narrowed; narrowing.
c.1200, nearewe "narrow part, place, or thing," from narrow (adj.). Old English nearu (n.) meant "danger, distress, difficulty," also "prison, hiding place."