Meaning of NARROW in English

I. ˈna(ˌ)rō, -_rə also ˈne(-, often -_rəw+V adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English narwe, naru, narowe, from Old English nearu; akin to Old High German narwa scar, narrow mark of a scar, snuor cord, Old Norse snœri twisted rope, Gothic snorjo basket, net, Greek narnax box, chest, Lithuanian nerti to dive, thread; basic meaning: twisting


a. : of little breadth especially in comparison with length

a narrow bay

a narrow table

b. : not possessing usual or expected width

a narrow sidewalk

c. of a textile : woven narrow (as in widths less than 18 inches) and suitable for ribbon, tape, webbing, or braid — compare broad


a. : limited in size or scope : restricted , circumscribed

narrow resources

narrow nations

in a narrower sense, history is the record of human events — A.L.Guérard

b. : close around : confining

narrow bounds



(1) : possessed of insufficient means : meager

a narrow income

narrow circumstances

(2) : meager , bigoted , small

a narrow individual

a narrow mind

b. chiefly dialect : stingy , niggardly


a. : having only a little margin : having barely sufficient space, time, or number : close

winner in the election by a narrow margin

b. : uncomfortably close to failure : barely successful

a narrow escape


a. : concentrating on minute particulars : close

a narrow inspection

b. : extremely precise

a machine with narrow tolerances

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


a. : tense 3

b. of pronunciation transcription : representing by diacritical symbols many differences in and varieties of sounds including nonphonemic differences — compare broad

8. : of limited activity (as with little or no demand or supply for particular issues)

a narrow market

also : characterized by very small price changes

a narrow price range


strait: narrow is the ordinary term signifying not broad or wide

a narrow tape

a narrow street

a narrow entrance

It commonly extends to signify cramped, restricted, or circumscribed

a narrow squeeze through a passage

a narrow interpretation of a law

and often suggests the provincial, sectional, or partisan

a narrow sectarian opinion on a national problem

a narrow mind

strait , now archaic or dialectic except in the phrase the strait and narrow path, more strongly than narrow implies tightness and closeness, commonly extending in meaning to include the idea of the strictness or rigorousness of great and distressing restraints

narrow is the gate and strait is the way, which leadeth unto life — Mt 7:14 (Douay Version)

a strait prison

to reform … some strait decrees that lie too heavy on the commonwealth — Shakespeare

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English narwe, from narwe, adjective

: the narrow part of something: as

a. : a narrow passage (as in a mountain pass or street)

b. : a contracted part of a stream, lake, or sea ; specifically : a strait connecting two bodies of water

the Narrows of New York harbor

— usually used in plural but sometimes sing. in constr.

c. : a narrow gallery in a mine

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: narrow (I)

transitive verb

1. : to decrease the breadth or extent of : contract ; specifically : decrease 2

2. : to contract the reach or sphere of

narrow the powers of executive authority

: make less liberal or broad : limit

narrow one's views on education

intransitive verb

: to become less broad : contract , lessen

the river narrows above the town

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.