- 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 narrower
Tip: The narrower upper deck in coach is the better choice because its eight-seat rows cannot be extended.Flying Coach Is the New Hell: How Airlines Engineer You Out of Room
November 25, 2014
The other trend perhaps has a narrower reach; it has to do with changes within journalism in the age of the Internet.Jeff Sharlet’s ‘Radiant Truths’: How Religion Shaped American Literary Journalism
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald
May 4, 2014
Their Big Twin, however, the A330, with a narrower cabin than the 777, has done extremely well.The Exemplary Plane at the Heart of the MH370 Mystery
March 27, 2014
All the while, the narrower our field of vision, the more fixated we become on the vanishing point.Chris Christie and the Runaway High-Speed Presidency Train
January 11, 2014
It is a program for narrower healthcare coverage, not broader.Why Shouldn't Romney Talk About Romneycare?
September 27, 2012
Well does he deserve it, for no man ever had a narrower chance for his life.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
It was of the room I slept in, only it was narrower in the dream, and loftier, and the window was gone.Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood
To our left is our own river, the Pahi, narrower than the other.Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2)
William Delisle Hay
The driver turned off the road into a narrower lane as soon as it was dark.A Yankee Flier Over Berlin
In this sense the permanent later love is narrower than first love.My Reminiscences
- 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 narrower
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."