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From Middle English narowly, equivalent to narrow +‎ -ly.



narrowly (comparative more narrowly, superlative most narrowly)

  1. In a narrow manner; without flexibility or latitude.
    They regarded the new idea rather narrowly.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page viii:
      There is now such an immense "microliterature" on hepatics that, beyond a certain point I have given up trying to integrate (and evaluate) every minor paper published—especially narrowly floristic papers.
  2. Closely; by a narrow margin.
    They narrowly escaped collision.
    • 1690, “A Relation of the Late Great Revolution in Siam, and the Driving Out of the French”, in A Full and True Relation of the Great and Wonderful Revolution That Hapned Lately in the Kingdom of Siam in the East-Indies, London: Randal Taylor, page 6:
      The next day Opra Pitrachard ſent for Monſieur Conſtance to come to him, and ordered him to go and tell the French Officers that there was no deſign of keeping them Priſoners [] I charge you that you ſay this, and no more to thoſe French Officers; and know, that you ſhall be narrowly watched and overheard.
    • 1859, George Meredith, chapter 13, in The Ordeal of Richard Feverel. A History of Father and Son. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: Chapman and Hall, →OCLC:
      One inconsequent dream he related, about fancying himself quite young and rich, and finding himself suddenly in a field cropping razors around him, when, just as he had, by steps dainty as those of a French dancing-master, reached the middle, he to his dismay beheld a path clear of the blood, thirsty steel-crop, which he might have taken at first had he looked narrowly; and there he was.
    • 2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3 - 3 Blackburn”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      The visitors had not managed an away win in the top flight since the final day of last season, but Mauro Formica set the tone in the second minute with a rasping 25-yard drive which flew narrowly wide.