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

Another way to make the move easier is by opening your legs into a more narrow V at the top and bottom of the movement, suggests Mansour. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Naomi Campbell Trains While She Travels With This One Versatile Core Move," 23 Nov. 2018 And then there is Florida, home of two photo finishes in big Senate and governor’s races this year, both carried by Republicans with the narrowest of margins. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "How Democrats’ Rust Belt Success Alters 2020 Picture," 19 Nov. 2018 The Republican candidates for governor and Senate, Ron DeSantis and Scott, hold the narrowest of leads over their Democratic counterparts, Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson. Kelli Kennedy, The Seattle Times, "Overheating machines complicate Florida’s recount battle," 14 Nov. 2018 This is not true, but the recounts do threaten to reverse the very narrow leads currently held by the Republican candidates for governor (Ron DeSantis) and Senate (Rick Scott). Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Trump’s attack on the Florida recounts is an attack on American democracy," 12 Nov. 2018 These candidates, who had largely never before considered running, aimed to disrupt the narrow approach to political issues historically perpetuated by white, male candidates, and to change the homogenous face of politics. Julie Zeilinger, Marie Claire, "The Women Who Ran...and Lost," 24 Oct. 2018 With the widest part of the tree at the top and the narrowest down below, upside-down Christmas trees almost appear to float, enhancing the wonderment of the winter holiday. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Those Upside-Down Christmas Trees Everyone's Flipping for Actually Go Way Back," 25 Sep. 2018 Rescuers are currently grappling with a range of escape options including scuba-diving the team through the narrow, waterlogged passages and drilling a hole in the roof of the chamber and somehow hoisting them out. NBC News, "Thailand soccer team rescue: Conditions now 'most suitable' but monsoon threatens," 7 July 2018 But from an opening day signal of intent to a thrilling shootout triumph over Spain, all the way to this narrowest of defeats to Croatia, an underdog team got its own people to fall in love with it. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Russia's underdog World Cup run comes to an end with PK loss to Croatia," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As women took less unpaid time off and men earned less overtime, the pay gap narrowed from 89 cents on the dollar in 2015 to 92 cents in 2017. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Parsing the Gender Pay Gap," 22 Nov. 2018 In Florida, the Republican candidates for governor and the Senate also gained votes during the process; though their leads narrowed, both won their races after the recount. Linda Qiu, The Seattle Times, "A Fact-Checker’s Guide to Thanksgiving Politics," 21 Nov. 2018 After narrowing its nationwide search to 20 finalist cities, the online retail giant is reportedly in late-stage talks with Crystal City, Va., as well as the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens in New York City. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: ‘You get an Amazon HQ2 and you get an Amazon HQ2!’," 6 Nov. 2018 And physical markings can be studied to deduce the specific tools used to build the bomb, which can narrow the search for where and how it was made. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Technology of Pipe Bombs and Suspicious Packages, Explained," 25 Oct. 2018 The Mayo Clinic says that for people who have this condition, arteries to the fingers and toes sometimes spasm, in turn narrowing blood vessels and temporarily limiting blood supply. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "Why Am I Always Cold?," 16 Oct. 2018 But for now, here's the list of names U of L is pursuing as players start narrowing their lists and making their decisions. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Big Board 2.0: Updated look at Class of 2019 prospects on Louisville basketball's wish list," 10 July 2018 As the caseload grows, Scherr says the clinic will narrow its focus to Athens and 15 surrounding counties, most of which are heavily rural. Fleming Smith, ajc, "UGA’s School of Law opens free legal clinic for veterans," 9 July 2018 The system analyzed the patterns in the passwords and could narrow down likely ones much faster than the brute-force method. Adam Janofsky, WSJ, "AI Could Make Cyberattacks More Dangerous, Harder to Detect," 13 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Steyers’ home sits on a bluff overlooking the narrows known as the Golden Gate, the traditional point of entry to San Francisco, a gilded city named for a saint who venerated poverty. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer on Impeaching Trump, Getting Out the Vote, and Winning in 2020," 14 Nov. 2018 Her win could be a crucial Democratic pickup and keep the Republican majority in the Senate narrow. Li Zhou, Vox, "Democrat Kyrsten Sinema pulls ahead in Arizona Senate race," 9 Nov. 2018 When the gap narrow, questions are raised about whether the expansion has run its course. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Widely Watched Recession Signal May Be Falsely Lit by Growth," 30 July 2018 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

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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Statistics for narrow

Last Updated

2 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on narrow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with narrow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for narrow

Spanish Central: Translation of narrow

Nglish: Translation of narrow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of narrow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on narrow

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