- 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 for narrow on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for narrowest
The narrowest piece of land was at Panama, but it was covered in dense, mountainous jungle.China’s Nicaragua Canal Could Spark a New Central America Revolution
November 30, 2014
The score was, admittedly, 1-0 to Argentina, the narrowest possible margin of victory in football.Costa Rica vs. the Netherlands: A Tale of Two Goalies
July 5, 2014
Both men have tried to redefine mass surveillance in the narrowest way possible.Did Putin or Obama Say ‘We Don’t Have a Domestic Spying Program’?
April 17, 2014
What follows from here is a marvel of the artistry of argument, of a mind at work against the narrowest ideas of its age.How to Read a Novel: The 5 Best Books of Criticism, Picked by John Freeman
October 8, 2013
George W. Bush won reelection by the narrowest margin of any presidential incumbent in American history.Stuart Stevens, Half Right
February 25, 2013
The narrowest and deepest gorge is hundreds of feet deep in the shale.Yorkshire Painted And Described
They were as if linked together, parted merely by the narrowest of passages.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
They were, one and all, from the broadest and best to the narrowest and least frequented, very dark.Barnaby Rudge
The river, after its attack on the village, was in possession even to the narrowest streets.The Flood
"About twenty miles at the narrowest point, I believe," I said.Kent Knowles: Quahaug
Joseph C. Lincoln
- 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 narrowest
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."
Idioms and Phrases with narrowest
In addition to the idiom beginning with narrow
- narrow escape
- straight and narrow