I. nar ‧ row 1 S3 W2 /ˈnærəʊ $ -roʊ/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: nearu ]
1 . NOT WIDE measuring only a small distance from one side to the other, especially in relation to the length OPP wide ⇨ broad
narrow street/road/path etc
a long narrow road
the narrow passage between the cottage and the house
his narrow bed
The stairs were very narrow.
a long, narrow band of cloud
2 . narrow escape a situation in which you only just avoid danger, difficulties, or trouble:
A woman had a narrow escape yesterday when her car left the road.
He was shaken by his narrow escape from death.
3 . narrow victory/defeat/majority/margin etc a win etc that is only just achieved or happens by only a small amount ⇨ slim :
The president won a narrow victory in the election.
He persuaded a narrow majority of the party to support the government.
Scotland eventually won the match by the narrow margin of 5–4.
The expression a narrow victory/defeat is used mostly in writing. In everyday British English, people often say that someone only just won/lost or, in everyday American English, barely won/lost .
4 . IDEAS/ATTITUDES a narrow attitude or way of looking at a situation is too limited and does not consider enough possibilities OPP broad :
You’ve got a very narrow view of life.
Some teachers have a narrow vision of what art is.
⇨ ↑ narrow-minded
5 . narrow sense/definition a meaning of a word that is exact or limited OPP broad :
I use the word ‘neighbour’ in its more precise or narrower sense.
6 . LIMITED limited in range or number of things OPP broad :
The company offered only a narrow range of financial services.
—narrowness noun [uncountable]
⇨ ↑ narrowly , ↑ narrows , ⇨ the straight and narrow at ↑ straight 3 (2)
II. narrow 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]
1 . to make something narrower, or to become narrower OPP widen :
He narrowed his eyes and gazed at the horizon.
The track divided into two and narrowed.
2 . if a range, difference etc narrows, or if something narrows it, it becomes less OPP widen :
The choice of goods available is narrowing.
The economic gap between the two halves of the country was beginning to narrow.
narrow something ↔ down phrasal verb
to reduce the number of things included in a range:
The police have narrowed down their list of suspects.
narrow something ↔ down to
I’ve narrowed it down to one of two people.