Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Narrow

Nar′row

(năr′rō̍)
,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Narrower
(năr′rō̍-ẽr)
;
sup
erl.
Narrowest
.]
[OE.
narwe
,
naru
, AS.
nearu
; akin to OS.
naru
,
naro
.]
1.
Of little breadth; not wide or broad; having little distance from side to side;
as, a
narrow
board; a
narrow
street; a
narrow
hem.
Hath passed in safety through the
narrow
seas.
Shakespeare
2.
Of little extent; very limited; circumscribed.
The Jews were but a small nation, and confined to a
narrow
compass in the world.
Bp. Wilkins.
3.
Having but a little margin; having barely sufficient space, time, or number, etc.; close; near{5}; – with special reference to some peril or misfortune;
as, a
narrow
shot; a
narrow
escape; a
narrow
miss; a
narrow
majority.
Dryden.
4.
Limited as to means; straitened; pinching;
as,
narrow
circumstances
.
5.
Contracted; of limited scope; illiberal; bigoted;
as, a
narrow
mind;
narrow
views.
“A narrow understanding.”
Macaulay.
6.
Parsimonious; niggardly; covetous; selfish.
A very
narrow
and stinted charity.
Smalridge.
7.
Scrutinizing in detail; close; accurate; exact.
But first with
narrow
search I must walk round
This garden, and no corner leave unspied.
Milton.
8.
(Phon.)
Formed (as a vowel) by a close position of some part of the tongue in relation to the palate; or (according to Bell) by a tense condition of the pharynx; – distinguished from wide; as ē (ēve) and oō (foōd), etc., from ĭ (ĭll) and oŏ (foŏt), etc. See Guide to Pronunciation, §13.
Narrow is not unfrequently prefixed to words, especially to participles and adjectives, forming compounds of obvious signification; as, narrow-bordered, narrow-brimmed, narrow-breasted, narrow-edged, narrow-faced, narrow-headed, narrow-leaved, narrow-pointed, narrow-souled, narrow-sphered, etc.
Narrow gauge
.
(Railroad)
See Note under
Gauge
,
Noun.
, 6.

Nar′row

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Narrows
.
A narrow passage; esp., a contracted part of a stream, lake, or sea; a strait connecting two bodies of water; – usually in the plural;
as, The
Narrows
of New York harbor
.
Near the island lay on one side the jaws of a dangerous
narrow
.
Gladstone.

Nar′row

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Narrowed
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Narrowing
.]
[AS.
nearwian
.]
1.
To lessen the breadth of; to contract; to draw into a smaller compass; to reduce the width or extent of.
Sir W. Temple.
2.
To contract the reach or sphere of; to make less liberal or more selfish; to limit; to confine; to restrict;
as, to
narrow
one’s views or knowledge; to
narrow
a question in discussion.
Our knowledge is much more
narrowed
if we confine ourselves to our own solitary reasonings.
I. Watts.
3.
(Knitting)
To contract the size of, as a stocking, by taking two stitches into one.

Nar′row

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To become less broad; to contract; to become narrower;
as, the sea
narrows
into a strait
.
2.
(Man.)
Not to step out enough to the one hand or the other;
as, a horse
narrows
.
Farrier's Dict.
3.
(Knitting)
To contract the size of a stocking or other knit article, by taking two stitches into one.

Webster 1828 Edition


Narrow

NARROW

,
Adj.
I suspect this word and near to be contracted by the loss of g, nig, narrow, strait; nigiaw, to narrow; for the D. has naauw, narrow, close, G. with a prefix. In this case, the word belongs to the root of nigh; to approach.
1.
Of little breadth; not wide or broad; having little distance from side to side; as a narrow board; a narrow street; a narrow sea; a narrow hem or border. It is only or chiefly applied to the surface of flat or level bodies.
2.
Of little extent; very limited; as a narrow space or compass.
3.
Covetous; not liberal or bountiful; as a narrow heart.
4.
Contracted; of confined views or sentiments; very limited.
The greatest understanding is narrow.
In this sense and the former, it is often prefixed to mind or soul, & c. ; as narrow-minded; narrow-souled; narrow-hearted.
5.
Near; within a small distance.
6.
Close; near; accurate; scrutinizing; as a narrow search; narrow inspection.
7.
Near; barely sufficient to avoid evil; as a narrow escape.

NARROW

,
Noun.
A strait; a narrow passage through a mountain, or a narrow channel of water between one sea or lake and another; a sound. It is usually in the plural, but sometimes in the singular.

Definition 2022


narrow

narrow

English

Adjective

narrow (comparative narrower, superlative narrowest)

  1. Having a small width; not wide; slim; slender; having opposite edges or sides that are close, especially by comparison to length or depth.
    a narrow hallway
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess:
      Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime. Their bases were on a level with the pavement outside, a narrow way which was several feet lower than the road behind the house.
    • 2013 July-August, Catherine Clabby, Focus on Everything”, in American Scientist:
      Not long ago, it was difficult to produce photographs of tiny creatures with every part in focus. That’s because the lenses that are excellent at magnifying tiny subjects produce a narrow depth of field. A photo processing technique called focus stacking has changed that.
  2. Of little extent; very limited; circumscribed.
    • Bishop Wilkins
      The Jews were but a small nation, and confined to a narrow compass in the world.
  3. (figuratively) Restrictive; without flexibility or latitude.
    a narrow interpretation
  4. Contracted; of limited scope; illiberal; bigoted.
    a narrow mind; narrow views
    • Macaulay
      a narrow understanding
  5. Having a small margin or degree.
    a narrow escape
    The Republicans won by a narrow majority.
    • 2011 September 18, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 41-10 Georgia”, in BBC Sport:
      As in their narrow defeat of Argentina last week, England were indisciplined at the breakdown, and if Georgian fly-half Merab Kvirikashvili had remembered his kicking boots, Johnson's side might have been behind at half-time.
  6. (dated) Limited as to means; straitened; pinching.
    narrow circumstances
  7. Parsimonious; niggardly; covetous; selfish.
    • Smalridge
      a very narrow and stinted charity
  8. Scrutinizing in detail; close; accurate; exact.
    • Milton
      But first with narrow search I must walk round / This garden, and no corner leave unspied.
  9. (phonetics) Formed (as a vowel) by a close position of some part of the tongue in relation to the palate; or (according to Bell) by a tense condition of the pharynx; distinguished from wide.

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

narrow (third-person singular simple present narrows, present participle narrowing, simple past and past participle narrowed)

  1. (transitive) To reduce in width or extent; to contract.
    We need to narrow the search.
  2. (intransitive) To get narrower.
    The road narrows.
  3. (knitting) To contract the size of, as a stocking, by taking two stitches into one.
Synonyms

Translations

Noun

narrow (plural narrows)

  1. (chiefly in the plural) A narrow passage, especially a contracted part of a stream, lake, or sea; a strait connecting two bodies of water.
    the Narrows of New York harbor
    • Gladstone
      Near the island lay on one side the jaws of a dangerous narrow.