- The definition of narrow is someone who is limited in some way or something that is small in width as compared to its length.
- An example of narrow used as an adjective is the phrase narrow mind, which is someone with little knowledge of the world.
- An example of a narrow window is a long window that is not very wide.
A narrow window in a brick building.
- small in width as compared to length; esp., less wide than is customary, standard, or expected; not wide
- limited in meaning, size, amount, or extent: a narrow majority
- limited in outlook; without breadth of view or generosity; not liberal; prejudiced: a narrow mind
- close; careful; minute; thorough: a narrow inspection
- with limited margin; with barely enough space, time, etc.; barely successful: a narrow escape
- limited in means; with hardly enough to live on: narrow circumstances
- ☆ having a relatively high proportion of protein: said of livestock feed
- Dialectal stingy; parsimonious
- Phonet. tense: said of certain vowels
Origin of narrowMiddle English narwe ; from Old English nearu, akin to Middle Dutch nare, Old Saxon naru ; from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)ner-, to turn, twist from source snare, Classical Greek narkē, stupor
- a narrow part or place, esp. in a valley, mountain pass, road, etc.
- a narrow passage, as between two bodies of water; strait
- Of small or limited width, especially in comparison with length.
- Limited in area or scope; cramped.
- Lacking flexibility; rigid: narrow opinions.
- Barely sufficient; close: a narrow margin of victory.
- Painstakingly thorough or attentive; meticulous: narrow scrutiny.
- Linguistics Tense.
verbnar·rowed, nar·row·ing, nar·rows
- To reduce in width or extent; make narrower.
- To limit or restrict: narrowed the possibilities down to three.
- A part of little width, as a pass through mountains.
- narrows (used with a sing. or pl. verb)a. A body of water with little width that connects two larger bodies of water.b. A part of a river or an ocean current that is not wide.
Origin of narrowMiddle English narwe, from Old English nearu.
(comparative narrower, superlative narrowest)
- Having a small width; not wide; slim; slender; having opposite edges or sides that are close, especially by comparison to length or depth.
- a narrow hallway
- Of little extent; very limited; circumscribed.
- (figuratively) Restrictive; without flexibility or latitude.
- a narrow interpretation
- Contracted; of limited scope; illiberal; bigoted.
- a narrow mind; narrow views
- Having a small margin or degree.
- a narrow escape
- The Republicans won by a narrow majority.
- (dated) Limited as to means; straitened; pinching.
- narrow circumstances
- Parsimonious; niggardly; covetous; selfish.
- Scrutinizing in detail; close; accurate; exact.
- (phonetics) Formed (as a vowel) by a close position of some part of the tongue in relation to the palate; or (according to Bell) by a tense condition of the pharynx; distinguished from wide.
(third-person singular simple present narrows, present participle narrowing, simple past and past participle narrowed)
From Middle English narow, narowe, narewe, narwe, naru, from Old English nearu (“narrow, strait, confined, constricted, not spacious, limited, petty; limited, poor, restricted; oppressive, causing anxiety (of that which restricts free action of body or mind), causing or accompanied by difficulty, hardship, oppressive; oppressed, not having free action; strict, severe”), from Proto-Germanic *narwaz (“constricted, narrow”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ner- (“to turn, bend, twist, constrict”). Cognate with Scots naro, narow, narrow (“narrow”), North Frisian naar, noar, noor (“narrow”), West Frisian near (“narrow”), Dutch naar (“dismal, bleak, ill, sick”), Low German naar (“dismal, ghastly”), German Narbe (“a closed wound, scar”), Norwegian norve (“a clip, staple”), Icelandic njörva- (“narrow-”, in compounds).