adj. nar·row·er, nar·row·est
1. Of small or limited width, especially in comparison with length.
2. Limited in area or scope; cramped.
3. Lacking flexibility; rigid: narrow opinions.
4. Barely sufficient; close: a narrow margin of victory.
5. Painstakingly thorough or attentive; meticulous: narrow scrutiny.
6. Linguistics Tense.
v. nar·rowed, nar·row·ing, nar·rows
1. To reduce in width or extent; make narrower.
2. To limit or restrict: narrowed the possibilities down to three.
To become narrower; contract.
1. A part of little width, as a pass through mountains.
2. narrows (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
a. A body of water with little width that connects two larger bodies of water.
b. A part of a river or an ocean current that is not wide.
[Middle English narwe, from Old English nearu.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.