• Having a small width; not wide; having opposite edges or sides that are close, especially by comparison to length or depth.
  • Of little extent; very limited; circumscribed.
  • Restrictive; without flexibility or latitude.
  • Contracted; of limited scope; bigoted
  • Having a small margin or degree.
  • Limited as to means; straitened
  • Parsimonious; niggardly; covetous; selfish.
  • Scrutinizing in detail; close; accurate; exact.
  • 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.


  • A narrow passage, especially a contracted part of a stream, lake, or sea; a strait connecting two bodies of water.


  • To reduce in width or extent; to contract.
  • To get narrower.
  • To partially lower one's eyelids in a way usually taken to suggest a defensive, aggressive or penetrating look.
  • To contract the size of, as a stocking, by taking two stitches into one.
  • To convert to a data type that cannot hold as many distinct values.


Similar words

Opposite words


  • From Middle English narow, narowe, narewe, narwe, naru, from Old English nearu ("narrow, strait, confined, constricted, not spacious, limited, petty; limited, poor, restricted; oppressive, causing anxiety (of that which restricts free action of body or mind), causing or accompanied by difficulty, hardship, oppressive; oppressed, not having free action; strict, severe"), from Proto-Germanic *narwaz ("constricted, narrow"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ner- ("to turn, bend, twist, constrict"). Cognate with Scots naro, narow, narrow, North Frisian naar, noar, noor, Saterland Frisian noar ("bleak, dismal, meager, ghastly, unwell"), Saterland Frisian Naarwe ("scar"), West Frisian near ("narrow"), Dutch naar ("dismal, bleak, ill, sick"), Low German naar ("dismal, ghastly"), German Narbe ("scar"), Norwegian norve ("a clip, staple"), Icelandic ("narrow-").
  • From Middle English narwen; see there for more details, but ultimately derived from the noun.

Modern English dictionary

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