Word of the week: narrow

The word narrow is an adjective and a verb, but only the adjective is known prior to the C levels, in the meaning of NOT WIDE. At C2, the further adjectival meaning of LIMITED is added, as in narrow interests and a narrow interpretation of the law. The phrase a narrow escape is also at C2 and is reproduced in the entry for narrow and also in the entry for escape. The English Vocabulary Profile is an online resource, without the space constraints of a printed book, and so is able to be more user-friendly in this respect, duplicating phrases to multiple entries and avoiding the need for cross-referencing. As for the verb narrow, there are two meanings at the C levels – MAKE SMALLER at C1 and BECOME LESS at C2 – as well as the phrasal verb narrow sth down at C2. There is a separate entry in the English Vocabulary Profile for the compound adjective narrow-minded, at C1 level. Running a ‘wild card’ search for similar compound adjectives (typing *minded in the Search box) yields open-minded at C1 and broadminded at C2. It is interesting that the latter adjective tends to be produced as one word rather than being hyphenated, like the other two.
To view the full entry for narrow on the English Vocabulary Profile, please click here.

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