- 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
Synonyms for narrowSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for narrows
Contemporary Examples of narrows
Daniel Gross narrows down the list of suspects, from Elizabeth Warren and Wall Street to the brilliant economist himself.The Larry Summers Whodunit: Who Killed His Shot at Running the Fed?
September 15, 2013
It narrows your options on how you will spend your time, money and attention.Gay People Want Their Families to Be Treated Like Everyone Else
April 2, 2013
On the other hand, getting too close to the threshold dramatically raises your risk and narrows your choices.Could US Debt Reach a Tipping Point?
February 22, 2013
The headline screamed across the homepage of the Drudge Report: ROMNEY NARROWS VP CHOICES; CONDI EMERGES AS FRONTRUNNER.How the Drudge Report, With Its Condoleezza Rice ‘Scoop,’ Again Rules the Media
July 15, 2012
Historical Examples of narrows
And between ourselves what dupery there is in science, how it narrows our horizon!The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
Did you tell her—Aunt Keziah—when you met her at the Narrows?Keziah Coffin
Joseph C. Lincoln
Again he heard the hail––his own name, coming from that point at the narrows.Billy Topsail & Company
After a while the batteries along the Narrows slipped into view.The Crimson Tide
Robert W. Chambers
They are sure they will have the whip hand of the Narrows by to-morrow.Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2
- a narrow part of a strait, river, current, etc
- 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 for narrow
"narrow place in a river, etc.," 1630s, plural of narrow (n.).
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."
In addition to the idiom beginning with narrow
- narrow escape
- straight and narrow