adjective, nar·row·er, nar·row·est.
- 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.
verb (used without object)
- to decrease in width or breadth: This is where the road narrows.
verb (used with object)
- 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.
- 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
- another word for tense 1 (def. 4)
- relating to or denoting a transcription used to represent phonetic rather than phonemic distinctions
- another word for close 1 (def. 21)
- (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
adv.Old English nearolice “narrowly, closely, strictly;” see narrow (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning “only by a little” is attested from 1550s. adj.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. v.Old English nearwian “to force in, cramp, confine; become smaller, shrink;” see narrow (adj.). Related: Narrowed; narrowing. n.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