Meaning of “narrow” in the English Dictionary

"narrow" in British English

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uk /ˈnær.əʊ/ us /ˈner.oʊ/

narrow adjective (SMALL WIDTH)

B1 having a small distance from one side to the other, especially in comparison with the length:

a narrow bridge/passage/gap
a narrow face
narrow feet
The little village has very narrow streets.

More examples

  • We drove up a narrow dirt track to their house.
  • They had a narrow escape when their car crashed.
  • The Socialists won by a narrow/large majority.
  • The evening sun slanted through the narrow window.
  • The boats all have to pass through this narrow channel.

Thesaurus: synonyms and related words

Narrow and thin

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narrow adjective (ONLY JUST)

A narrow result is one that could easily have been different because the amount by which someone failed or succeeded was very small:

The election was won by the very narrow margin of only 185 votes.
The opposition had a narrow defeat.
We won a narrow victory.
a narrow escape

C2 a situation in which you avoid danger although you very nearly do not:

We got out in time but it was a narrow escape.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈnær.əʊ.nəs/ us /ˈner.oʊ.nəs/



uk /ˈnær.əʊ/ us /ˈner.oʊ/

narrow verb (LESS WIDE)

C1 [ I or T ] to become less wide or to make something less wide:

The road narrows after the bridge.
He narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
They have narrowed the focus of the investigation, to concentrate on younger adults.
figurative We must strive to narrow the gap between rich and poor.

Thesaurus: synonyms and related words

Narrow and thin

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Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “narrow” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"narrow" in American English

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us /ˈnær·oʊ/

narrow adjective (SMALL)

having a small distance from one side to the other:

Scenes from the movie were filmed in some of Rome’s ancient, narrow streets.

Narrow also means slight, esp. as a measure of difference:

He was defeated in the election by a narrow margin.
It was a narrow victory, with the golf tournament decided by a single stroke.

Narrow also means only just successful:

He had a narrow escape, getting out of the car just before it burst into flames.

narrow adjective (LIMITED)

narrowverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈnær·oʊ/

narrow verb [ I/T ] (BECOME SMALLER)

to become or make something narrower or smaller:

[ I ] The road narrows from four lanes to two when you leave town.
[ T ] Senate leaders met again to try to narrow the budget deficit.

(Definition of “narrow” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"narrow" in Business English

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uk /ˈnærəʊ/ us

extremely small:

a narrow margin/defeat/victory/lead The election was won by a narrow margin of 85 votes.

including only a small number of things:

Specialization by developing countries in a narrow range of commodities had left them vulnerable to external shocks.
With little money available, the policymakers established narrow eligibility criteria and limited the number of grants.
in a narrow range

FINANCE if something trades in a narrow range, it does not go up and down very much in price:

Dealers in London described trading as light with prices continuing to trade in a narrow range.

narrowverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈnærəʊ/ us

[ I ] to become less in amount, or to make something become less in amount:

narrow to sth (from sth) The retailer's loss narrowed to $3 million from $10 million a year earlier.
a narrowing gap/difference/deficit

Rising costs caused some narrowing of profit margins.

(Definition of “narrow” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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