narrow

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

Definition of narrow 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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 : limited in size or scope a narrow interpretation

3a : illiberal (see illiberal sense d) in views or disposition : prejudiced the days of cold hearts and narrow minds— T. B. Macaulay

b chiefly dialectal : stingy, niggardly

4a : barely sufficient : close won by a narrow margin

b : barely successful a narrow escape

5 : minutely precise : meticulous a narrow inspection

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

narrow

verb
narrowed; narrowing; narrows

Definition of narrow (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to decrease the breadth or extent of : contract often used with down

2 : to decrease the scope or sphere of : limit often used with down narrow down the choices

intransitive verb

: to lessen in width or extent : contract often used with down

narrow

noun

Definition of narrow (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from narrow

Adjective

narrowly adverb
narrowness noun

Examples of narrow in a Sentence

Adjective

The city's ancient streets are too narrow for buses. We crossed at the narrowest part of the river. His shoulders are very narrow. within the narrow limits allowed by law They offer a narrow range of flavors: chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. the study's narrow focus on 30-year-old men The study was narrow in scope. a narrow view of politics

Verb

The path was narrowed by overgrowth. His eyes narrowed as he focused on the words in front of him. The vase narrows at its top. narrowing the range of options You'll need to narrow the focus of your paper to one central idea. The gap between their salaries was beginning to narrow.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This intrigued McGrail, but there was some worry that a purely German restaurant would be unable to attract regulars — that people would only go once every couple of months because the selection was so narrow. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "1993 Corktown purchase sits on the edge of a jackpot," 13 July 2018 But a spokesman for Mr. Stanton said Tuesday that the cave proved to be too narrow for the mini-submarine. Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, "Elon Musk Defends His Rejected Mini-Sub Plan for Thai Cave," 10 July 2018 The road, which runs from Woodland through Esparto and the Capay Valley, is narrow with some tight curves and often no shoulders to save errant drivers, leading to more than its share of crashes. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "This Yolo road's like a country song. It's seen heartache and woe. Now, for some love," 9 July 2018 Musk also posted a video of the device being tested in a Los Angeles pool: Update: The tube is really narrow. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk built a “submarine” to rescue Thailand kids—here’s what it looks like," 8 July 2018 But researchers have for years complained that the problem is far more serious and that Twitter's definition of a fake account is too narrow, allowing them to keep counts low. Craig Timberg And Elizabeth Dwoskin, chicagotribune.com, "Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk," 7 July 2018 Some passageways were so narrow that divers had to remove some equipment to get through them, while some have been widened to ease the passage. Time, "A Former Thai Navy SEAL Has Died During a Rescue Mission for Soccer Team Trapped in a Cave," 6 July 2018 But the appeals court said that interpretation of state law was too narrow. Jonathan Drew, The Seattle Times, "Retrial ordered for man who shot black friend in yard," 3 July 2018 With ten head-to-head matchups left, the East crown is likely to come down to the wire—and the difference between a trip to the Division Series and second-place terror of the wild-card game could be just as narrow. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: Solving the Yankees' Sonny Gray Problem, AL East Deciding Factors and Our Favorite Statcast Quirks," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The United States trade gap with China has narrowed, as more American products were shipped to Beijing ahead of the tariffs, which went into effect on July 6. New York Times, "A Soybean Surge Makes Trump’s Trade War Look Deceptively Good," 11 July 2018 Kroger and Nuro have narrowed down a shortlist of cities to launch the program. Sarah Cahlan /, NBC News, "This self-driving car could deliver groceries to your doorstep," 11 July 2018 Authorities have narrowed their search for the body of a Florida hairdresser missing since May, zeroing in on a Georgia landfill where local police and FBI agents are combing through truckloads of trash. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Police Search Landfill for Missing Florida Hairdresser — and Coworker Seen Discarding Trash Bag Is Suspect," 10 July 2018 The New York Times reported late Monday morning that Hardiman is one of two people the president has narrowed the field down to. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Here are the 4 Supreme Court candidates, including the one who was ‘most likely to succeed’ at Waltham High School in 1983," 9 July 2018 President Trump has supposedly narrowed his search for the next Supreme Court justice down to four candidates. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Donnelly declines invitation to be at White House as Trump announces Supreme Court nominee," 9 July 2018 President Trump has supposedly narrowed his search for the next Supreme Court justice down to four candidates. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Is Trump ready to nominate Raymond Kethledge to the Supreme Court?," 9 July 2018 According to Culture Trip, location scouts had narrowed the show's setting down to three Georgia towns — none of which were Barnesville. refinery29.com, "Is Sharp Objects' Small, Murderous Town Based On A Real Place?," 6 July 2018 The spread between five-year and 30-year bonds, which was 96 basis points 12 months ago, has narrowed to around 28 basis points. Fortune, "The Yield Curve Is Flatter! Remind Me Why I Care," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The divers, three Navy SEALS, and a doctor, brought the boys up from the perilous depths two at a time, working through the cavern's narrows turns and murky water with precision. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "All 12 Thai Boys Rescued From Cave," 10 July 2018 Angry scratches marked his narrow back, mementos of scrambling through the brush at the border. NBC News, "In the chaos of Trump's policy reversal, families aren't split but monitored," 24 June 2018 Right now, in the face of America’s reactionary narrow-mindedness, the work’s insistent cross-cultural heterogeneity feels joyfully subversive. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "'Made in L.A. 2018': Why the Hammer biennial is the right show for disturbing times," 5 June 2018 The mouth of the narrows, the flats on the east side from the mouth up past the ranch house north and from the ranch house to the island in the afternoon when the fish are over deep water. sacbee, "Fishing line: Sacramento River sees plenty of stripers and shad | The Sacramento Bee," 30 Apr. 2018 Furthermore, as communication narrows, constituents may be less likely to feel represented. Gregory Koger, Vox, "The job of Congress: a primer," 17 Apr. 2018 To Vista Point/trailhead parking: From campgrounds (no RVs or trailers allowed past campgrounds), continue ahead, make a very sharp left turn and continue (the roads narrows, so drive slowly) for 0.2 of a mile to parking and restroom on right. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Castle Crags’ spectacular little seen world," 5 Apr. 2018 Still, with every new bomb discovered, the evidence grows and, investigators hope, the space between the hunter and the hunted narrows ever so slightly. Manny Fernandez, Serge F. Kovaleski And John Ismay, New York Times, "For Austin Bomb Investigators, Each New Blast Offers New Clues," 20 Mar. 2018 While the jobs gap between blacks and whites narrows, other economic gaps between the races persist. Valerie Wilson, demographic economist at Economic Policy Institute, points to huge disparities in wealth. Sharon Nunn, WSJ, "After 40 Years, the Black-White Labor Force Participation Gap Has All But Closed," 11 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'narrow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of narrow

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for narrow

Adjective

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

Verb

see narrow entry 1

Noun

see narrow entry 1

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Learn More about narrow

Phrases Related to narrow

narrowly define

the straight and narrow

Statistics for narrow

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for narrow

The first known use of narrow was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for narrow

narrow

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of narrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

narrow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of narrow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) less wide

: to become less wide

: to make (something) smaller in amount or range

narrow

adjective
nar·row | \ˈner-ō \
narrower; narrowest

Kids Definition of narrow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : of slender or less than usual width …Kino ran straight to the narrow dock where the fishing boats bobbed up and down…— Pearl S. Buck, The Big Wave

2 : limited in size or extent We had a narrow range of choices.

3 : not broad or open in mind or views They are narrow in their thinking.

4 : barely successful : close We made a narrow escape.

Other Words from narrow

narrowly adverb
narrowness noun

narrow

verb
narrowed; narrowing

Kids Definition of narrow (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to make or become less wide … his yellow eyes narrowed to slits.— Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins

2 : to limit in number : become fewer The list of candidates has been narrowed to ten.

narrow

noun

Kids Definition of narrow (Entry 3 of 3)

: a narrow passage connecting two bodies of water usually used in pl.

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Comments on narrow

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