Definition of narrow adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈnærəʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈnæroʊ//
    (narrower, narrowest)
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  1. 1  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 The road soon became narrower and steeper. opposite broad, wide
  2. 2  [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.
  3. 3  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. opposite broad
  4. 4  limited in variety or numbers synonym restricted The shop sells only a narrow range of goods. a narrow circle of friends opposite wide
  5. 5limited in meaning; exact I am using the word ‘education’ in the narrower sense. Which Word?narrow / thinThese adjectives are frequently used with the following nouns: narrow road/​entrance/​bed/​stairs/​majority/​victory/​range thin man/​legs/​ice/​line/​layer/​material/​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’. opposite broad
  6. Word OriginOld English nearu, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch naar ‘dismal, unpleasant’ and German Narbe ‘scar’. Early senses in English included ‘constricted’ and ‘mean’.Extra examples The pass gets quite narrow towards the east. The rear part of the casing is slightly narrower than the front. people who are rather narrow in outlook He blamed the goalkeeper for the narrow defeat against Ireland. He secured a narrow victory in the presidential elections. His specialization is too narrow to be of interest to more than a handful of students. I found the focus of the debate too narrow. I love walking down the narrow streets in the old city. I sat next to him on the narrow bed. She lost the race by the narrowest of margins. She only has a narrow circle of friends. She was elected by a narrow majority. Teachers feel that the present curriculum is too narrow. The exhibition is disappointingly narrow in scope. The jacket looked very large across his narrow shoulders. The party has a rather narrow political agenda.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: narrow