- 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 narrowly
In 2012, Obama narrowly beat Mitt Romney among Florida Cubans, according to exit polls.Rubio’s Embargo Anger Plays to the Past
December 19, 2014
President Obama narrowly won the Cuban-American vote in South Florida in 2012.The Liberation of the Lame Duck: Obama Goes Full Bulworth
December 19, 2014
Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan is steadily but narrowly leading GOP challenger Thom Tillis.Who Are the Judicial Activists Now?
October 7, 2014
He faces Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, who narrowly trailed Russell with 24.5 percent.Would-Be Congressman Can’t Quit Saddam
June 27, 2014
North Carolina has become one of the new swing states; Obama narrowly won it in 2008 but lost it by 2% in 2012.GOP Establishment Wins in North Carolina Primary
May 7, 2014
He went up and handed it to her through the narrowly opened door.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
The door that opened from it into the garden room was narrowly ajar.The Incomplete Amorist
He opened the door, but soon shut it, narrowly escaping a bears hug.The Field of Ice
"I've done something with him myself," she said, watching him narrowly.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
Little Gervais was stricken with fever and narrowly escaped death.Fruitfulness
- 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 narrowly
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 narrowly
In addition to the idiom beginning with narrow
- narrow escape
- straight and narrow