Difference Wiki

Wide vs. Narrow: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 6, 2023
Wide refers to a greater extent from side to side; narrow indicates a lesser width or limited scope.

Key Differences

Wide and narrow are opposites in terms of spatial dimensions.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
Wide suggests an expansive measurement across, perhaps like a wide river that stretches broadly between its banks. On the other hand, narrow implies a limited span, as one might observe in a narrow alley between buildings. When considering the application of these terms outside physical dimensions, wide can denote a vast array, like a wide range of topics.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
In contrast, narrow might indicate specificity or a confined scope, as in a narrow focus on a particular subject. Linguistically, both words have found their way into idiomatic expressions. While "casting a wide net" denotes inclusivity, "a narrow escape" speaks of just barely avoiding danger.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
Wide often carries implications of abundance and expansiveness, while narrow typically communicates limitation or precision.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Comparison Chart

Spatial Dimension

Expansive across
Limited in width
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Oct 06, 2023
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Scope

Broad, inclusive
Specific, confined
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Oct 06, 2023

Idiomatic Usage

"Casting a wide net"
"A narrow escape"
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Oct 06, 2023

Implication

Abundance, expansiveness
Limitation, precision
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Application

Used to denote vastness
Used to denote restrictiveness
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Wide and Narrow Definitions

Wide

Encompassing a broad range or variety.
She has a wide range of interests.
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Oct 06, 2023
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Narrow

Limited in extent or width.
The bridge is too narrow for large trucks.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Wide

Far from a target or mark.
The shot went wide of the goal.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Narrow

Not broad or open-minded.
His narrow views are problematic.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Wide

Having a specified extent from side to side
A ribbon two inches wide.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Meticulous or precise.
She has a narrow attention to detail.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Wide

Extending over a great distance from side to side; broad
A wide road.
A wide necktie.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Of small or limited width, especially in comparison with length.
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Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Having great extent or range; including much or many
A wide selection.
Granting wide powers.
Wide variations.
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Limited in area or scope; cramped.
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Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Fully open or extended
Look with wide eyes.
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Narrow

Lacking flexibility; rigid
Narrow opinions.
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Nov 29, 2022

Wide

To the side of or at a distance from a given boundary, limit, or goal
A shot that was wide of the target.
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Narrow

Barely sufficient; close
A narrow margin of victory.
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Wide

(Baseball) Outside.
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Narrow

Painstakingly thorough or attentive; meticulous
Narrow scrutiny.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(Sports) Being toward or near one of the side boundaries of a playing area, such as a sideline on a football field.
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Narrow

(Linguistics) Tense.
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Wide

Deviating or straying from something expected or specified
A remark that was wide of the truth.
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To reduce in width or extent; make narrower.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(Linguistics) Lax.
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To limit or restrict
Narrowed the possibilities down to three.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Over a great distance; extensively
Traveled far and wide.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To become narrower; contract.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

To the full extent; completely.
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

A part of little width, as a pass through mountains.
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Nov 29, 2022

Wide

To the side of or at a distance from a given boundary, limit, or goal.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

A body of water with little width that connects two larger bodies of water.
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Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(Sports) Toward or near one of the sides of a playing area
Ran wide to catch a pass.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

A part of a river or an ocean current that is not wide.
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Nov 29, 2022

Wide

A ball bowled outside of the batsman's reach, counting as a run for the batting team in cricket.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Having a small width; not wide; having opposite edges or sides that are close, especially by comparison to length or depth.
A narrow hallway
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Having a large physical extent from side to side.
We walked down a wide corridor.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Of little extent; very limited; circumscribed.
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Wide

Large in scope.
The inquiry had a wide remit.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

(figuratively) Restrictive; without flexibility or latitude.
A narrow interpretation
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(sports) Operating at the side of the playing area.
That team needs a decent wide player.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Contracted; of limited scope; bigoted
A narrow mind
Narrow views
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

On one side or the other of the mark; too far sideways from the mark, the wicket, the batsman, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Having a small margin or degree.
A narrow escape
The Republicans won by a narrow majority.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Made, as a vowel, with a less tense, and more open and relaxed, condition of the organs in the mouth.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

(dated) Limited as to means; straitened
Narrow circumstances
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Vast, great in extent, extensive.
The wide, lifeless expanse.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Parsimonious; niggardly; covetous; selfish.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(obsolete) Located some distance away; distant, far.
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Scrutinizing in detail; close; accurate; exact.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(obsolete) Far from truth, propriety, necessity, etc.
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

(phonetics) 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.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(computing) Of or supporting a greater range of text characters than can fit into the traditional 8-bit representation.
A wide character; a wide stream
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

A narrow passage, especially a contracted part of a stream, lake, or sea; a strait connecting two bodies of water.
The narrows of New York harbor
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Antagonistic, provocative.
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

(transitive) To reduce in width or extent; to contract.
We need to narrow the search.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Extensively
He travelled far and wide.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

(intransitive) To get narrower.
The road narrows.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Completely
He was wide awake.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

(of a person or eyes) To partially lower one's eyelids in a way usually taken to suggest a defensive, aggressive or penetrating look.
He stepped in front of me, narrowing his eyes to slits.
She wagged her finger in his face, and her eyes narrowed.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Away from or to one side of a given goal
The arrow fell wide of the mark.
A few shots were fired but they all went wide.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

(knitting) To contract the size of, as a stocking, by taking two stitches into one.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

So as to leave or have a great space between the sides; so as to form a large opening.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To convert to a data type that cannot hold as many distinct values.
To narrow an int variable to a short variable
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(cricket) A ball that passes so far from the batsman that the umpire deems it unplayable; the arm signal used by an umpire to signal a wide; the extra run added to the batting side's score
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Of little breadth; not wide or broad; having little distance from side to side; as, a narrow board; a narrow street; a narrow hem.
Hath passed in safety through the narrow seas.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Having considerable distance or extent between the sides; spacious across; much extended in a direction at right angles to that of length; not narrow; broad; as, wide cloth; a wide table; a wide highway; a wide bed; a wide hall or entry.
The chambers and the stables weren wyde.
Wide is the gate . . . that leadeth to destruction.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Of little extent; very limited; circumscribed.
The Jews were but a small nation, and confined to a narrow compass in the world.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Having a great extent every way; extended; spacious; broad; vast; extensive; as, a wide plain; the wide ocean; a wide difference.
For sceptered cynics earth were far too wide a den.
When the wide bloom, on earth that lies,Seems of a brighter world than ours.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Having but a little margin; having barely sufficient space, time, or number, etc.; close; near{5}; - with special reference to some peril or misfortune; as, a narrow shot; a narrow escape; a narrow miss; a narrow majority.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Of large scope; comprehensive; liberal; broad; as, wide views; a wide understanding.
Men of strongest head and widest culture.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Limited as to means; straitened; pinching; as, narrow circumstances.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Of a certain measure between the sides; measuring in a direction at right angles to that of length; as, a table three feet wide.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Contracted; of limited scope; illiberal; bigoted; as, a narrow mind; narrow views.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Remote; distant; far.
The contrary being so wide from the truth of Scripture and the attributes of God.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Parsimonious; niggardly; covetous; selfish.
A very narrow and stinted charity.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Far from truth, from propriety, from necessity, or the like.
It is far wide that the people have such judgments.
How wide is all this long pretense !
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Scrutinizing in detail; close; accurate; exact.
But first with narrow search I must walk roundThis garden, and no corner leave unspied.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

On one side or the other of the mark; too far side-wise from the mark, the wicket, the batsman, etc.
Surely he shoots wide on the bow hand.
I was but two bows wide.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

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; as ē (ēve) and Ō (fŌd), etc., from ĭ (ĭll) and Ŏ (fŎt), etc. See Guide to Pronunciation, 13.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Made, as a vowel, with a less tense, and more open and relaxed, condition of the mouth organs; - opposed to primary as used by Mr. Bell, and to narrow as used by Mr. Sweet. The effect, as explained by Mr. Bell, is due to the relaxation or tension of the pharynx; as explained by Mr. Sweet and others, it is due to the action of the tongue. The wide of ē (ēve) is ĭ (ĭll); of ā (āte) is ĕ (ĕnd), etc. See Guide to Pronunciation, 13-15.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

A narrow passage; esp., a contracted part of a stream, lake, or sea; a strait connecting two bodies of water; - usually in the plural; as, The Narrows of New York harbor.
Near the island lay on one side the jaws of a dangerousnarrow.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Having or showing a wide difference between the highest and lowest price, amount of supply, etc.; as, a wide opening; wide prices, where the prices bid and asked differ by several points.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To lessen the breadth of; to contract; to draw into a smaller compass; to reduce the width or extent of.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

To a distance; far; widely; to a great distance or extent; as, his fame was spread wide.
[I] went wyde in this world, wonders to hear.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To contract the reach or sphere of; to make less liberal or more selfish; to limit; to confine; to restrict; as, to narrow one's views or knowledge; to narrow a question in discussion.
Our knowledge is much more narrowed if we confine ourselves to our own solitary reasonings.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

So as to leave or have a great space between the sides; so as to form a large opening.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To contract the size of, as a stocking, by taking two stitches into one.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

So as to be or strike far from, or on one side of, an object or purpose; aside; astray.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To become less broad; to contract; to become narrower; as, the sea narrows into a strait.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

That which is wide; wide space; width; extent.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Not to step out enough to the one hand or the other; as, a horse narrows.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

That which goes wide, or to one side of the mark.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

To contract the size of a stocking or other knit article, by taking two stitches into one.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Having great (or a certain) extent from one side to the other;
Wide roads
A wide necktie
Wide margins
Three feet wide
A river two miles broad
Broad shoulders
A broad river
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

A narrow strait connecting two bodies of water
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Broad in scope or content;
Across-the-board pay increases
An all-embracing definition
Blanket sanctions against human-rights violators
An invention with broad applications
A panoptic study of Soviet nationality
Granted him wide powers
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Make or become more narrow or restricted;
The selection was narrowed
The road narrowed
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

(used of eyes) fully open or extended;
Listened in round-eyed wonder
Stared with wide eyes
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Define clearly;
I cannot narrow down the rules for this game
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Very large in expanse or scope;
A broad lawn
The wide plains
A spacious view
Spacious skies
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Become more special;
We specialize in dried flowers
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Great in degree;
Won by a wide margin
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Narrow

Become tight or as if tight;
Her throat constricted
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Wide

Great in range or scope;
An extended vocabulary
Surgeons with extended experience
Extensive examples of picture writing
Suffered extensive damage
A wide selection
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Not wide;
A narrow bridge
A narrow line across the page
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Having ample fabric;
The current taste for wide trousers
A full skirt
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Limited in size or scope;
The narrow sense of a word
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Not on target;
The kick was wide
The arrow was wide of the mark
A claim that was wide of the truth
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Lacking tolerance or flexibility or breadth of view;
A brilliant but narrow-minded judge
Narrow opinions
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Nov 29, 2022

Wide

With or by a broad space;
Stand with legs wide apart
Ran wide around left end
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Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Very limited in degree;
Won by a narrow margin
A narrow escape
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Wide

To the fullest extent possible;
Open your eyes wide
With the throttle wide open
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Narrow

Characterized by painstaking care and detailed examination;
A minute inspection of the grounds
A narrow scrutiny
An exact and minute report
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Nov 29, 2022

Wide

Far from the intended target;
The arrow went wide of the mark
A bullet went astray and killed a bystander
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Limited in scope or extent.
A narrow focus on the subject won't help.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Wide

To or over a great extent or range; far;
Wandered wide through many lands
He traveled widely
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 29, 2022

Narrow

Barely successful or adequate.
They had a narrow escape from the fire.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Wide

Extending over a large area from side to side.
The river is wide at this point.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Wide

Fully open or extended.
He opened his eyes wide in surprise.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Wide

Comprehensive or vast in extent.
The topic has wide implications for researchers.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

FAQs

Can "wide" refer to non-physical concepts?

Yes, "wide" can denote a broad range, as in a "wide variety".
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

How do "wide" and "narrow" differ in spatial terms?

Wide suggests expansiveness across, while narrow implies limited width.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Is "narrow-minded" a positive term?

Typically, "narrow-minded" is used negatively, indicating lack of openness.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Does "narrow down" mean to reduce options?

Yes, "narrow down" means to reduce to a specific selection.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Can "wide" indicate surprise?

Yes, as in "eyes wide open" showing astonishment.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Does "wide" have synonyms related to broadness?

Yes, such as "broad", "expansive", and "vast".
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

What does "wide" generally indicate in terms of space?

Wide refers to a large extent from side to side.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

What does "wide-ranging" suggest?

It indicates something that covers a broad scope or variety.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Is "narrow" always used negatively?

No, in contexts like "narrow focus", it can be neutral or positive.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

How does "narrow" relate to scope or focus?

Narrow indicates a limited or specific scope or focus.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

Can "wide" refer to knowledge?

Yes, as in "wide knowledge" meaning vast understanding.
Harlon Moss
Oct 06, 2023

Are there idiomatic uses for "wide"?

Yes, like "casting a wide net" meaning being inclusive.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

What's an idiom involving "narrow"?

"A narrow escape" means just barely avoiding danger.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 06, 2023

Can "wide" mean comprehensive?

Yes, like "a wide survey" covering various aspects.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Does "narrow down" imply precision?

Yes, it indicates refining choices to be more precise.
Janet White
Oct 06, 2023

Can "wide" mean off-target?

Yes, like in sports where a shot "goes wide" of the target.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

How is "narrow" used in fashion?

"Narrow" can refer to slim-fitting clothing or specific styles.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Can "narrow" refer to meticulousness?

Yes, as in having a "narrow attention to detail".
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023

What are some synonyms for "narrow"?

"Limited", "restricted", and "constrained" are some synonyms.
Sara Rehman
Oct 06, 2023

Is "worldwide" derived from "wide"?

Yes, "worldwide" means extensive across the globe, using "wide" for breadth.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 06, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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