Meaning of NARROW in English

/ ˈnærəʊ; NAmE -roʊ/ adjective , verb

■ adjective ( nar·row·er , nar·row·est )


measuring a short distance from one side to the other, especially in relation to length :

narrow streets

a narrow bed / doorway / shelf

narrow shoulders / hips

There was only a narrow gap between the bed and the wall.

( figurative )

the narrow confines of prison life

OPP broad , wide


[ usually before noun ] only just achieved or avoided :

a narrow victory

He lost the race by the narrowest of margins .

She was elected by a narrow majority .

He had a narrow escape when his car skidded on the ice.


limited in a way that ignores important issues or the opinions of other people :

narrow interests

She has a very narrow view of the world.

OPP broad


limited in variety or numbers

SYN restricted :

The shop sells only a narrow range of goods.

a narrow circle of friends

OPP wide


limited in meaning; exact :

I am using the word 'education' in the narrower sense.

OPP broad

►  nar·row·ness noun [ U ]:

The narrowness of the streets caused many traffic problems.

We were surprised by the narrowness of our victory.

His attitudes show a certain narrowness of mind.


see straight noun

■ verb

to become or make sth narrower :

[ v ]

This is where the river narrows.

The gap between the two teams has narrowed to three points.

Her eyes narrowed (= almost closed) menacingly.

[ vn ]

He narrowed his eyes at her.

We need to try and narrow the health divide between rich and poor.


- narrow sth down (to sth)



narrow / thin

These adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns:

| narrow ~ | thin ~ |

| road | man |

| entrance | legs |

| bed | ice |

| stairs | line |

| majority | layer |

| victory | material |

| range | cream |

Narrow describes something that is a short distance from side to side. Thin describes people, or something that has a short distance through it from one side to the other.

Thin is also used of things that are not as thick as you expect. Narrow can be used with the meanings 'only just achieved' and 'limited'.



Old English nearu , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch naar dismal, unpleasant and German Narbe scar. Early senses in English included constricted and mean .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.