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adjective nar·row \ˈner-(ˌ)ō, ˈna-(ˌ)rō\

Simple Definition of narrow

  • : long and not wide : small from one side to the other side

  • : including or involving a small number of things or people : limited in range or amount

  • : almost not successful : very close to failure : almost not enough for success

Full Definition of narrow

  1. 1 a :  of slender width <a long and narrow room> b :  of less than standard or usual width <a narrow sidewalk> c of a textile :  woven in widths usually less than 18 inches (46 centimeters)

  2. 2 :  limited in size or scope <a narrow interpretation>

  3. 3 a :  illiberal in views or disposition :  prejudiced b chiefly dialect :  stingy, niggardly

  4. 4 a :  barely sufficient :  close <won by a narrow margin> b :  barely successful <a narrow escape>

  5. 5 :  minutely precise :  meticulous <a narrow inspection>

  6. 6 of an animal ration :  relatively rich in protein as compared with carbohydrate and fat

  7. 7 :  tense 3

nar·row·ly adverb
nar·row·ness noun

Examples of narrow

  1. The city's ancient streets are too narrow for buses.

  2. We crossed at the narrowest part of the river.

  3. His shoulders are very narrow.

  4. within the narrow limits allowed by law

  5. They offer a narrow range of flavors: chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.

  6. the study's narrow focus on 30-year-old men

  7. The study was narrow in scope.

  8. a narrow view of politics

Origin of narrow

Middle English narowe, from Old English nearu; akin to Old High German narwa scar

First Known Use: before 12th century



verb nar·row

Simple Definition of narrow

  • : to make (something) less wide

  • : to become less wide

  • : to make (something) smaller in amount or range

Full Definition of narrow

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to decrease the breadth or extent of :  contract —often used with down

  3. 2 :  to decrease the scope or sphere of :  limit —often used with down <narrow down the choices>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to lessen in width or extent :  contract —often used with down

Examples of narrow

  1. The path was narrowed by overgrowth.

  2. His eyes narrowed as he focused on the words in front of him.

  3. The vase narrows at its top.

  4. narrowing the range of options

  5. You'll need to narrow the focus of your paper to one central idea.

  6. The gap between their salaries was beginning to narrow.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of narrow

before 12th century

Rhymes with narrow



noun nar·row

Definition of narrow

  1. :  a narrow part or passage; specifically :  a strait connecting two bodies of water —usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction

13th Century

First Known Use of narrow

13th century

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February 5, 2016

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