Definition of NARROW-MINDED


Narrow-minded is an adjective used to describe a person who is limited in perspective, intolerant of differing views or opinions, and resistant to new ideas or experiences. It conveys a lack of openness or flexibility in thinking, often resulting in prejudice, dogmatism, or close-mindedness. Here are several key aspects associated with the concept of narrow-mindedness:

Limited Perspective: Narrow-minded individuals tend to have a restricted worldview, focusing solely on their own beliefs, values, or experiences while disregarding alternative perspectives or viewpoints. They may perceive the world in simplistic or black-and-white terms, failing to appreciate its complexity or diversity.

Intolerance and Prejudice: Narrow-mindedness is often accompanied by intolerance towards individuals or groups who hold beliefs or lifestyles that differ from one’s own. This intolerance may manifest as prejudice, discrimination, or hostility towards marginalized or minority populations based on factors such as race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

Resistance to New Ideas: Narrow-minded individuals are typically resistant to new ideas, innovations, or changes that challenge their existing beliefs or comfort zones. They may reject unfamiliar concepts or innovations without giving them fair consideration, preferring to cling to familiar routines or traditions.

Rigidity and Dogmatism: Narrow-mindedness is characterized by rigidity and dogmatism, with individuals adhering stubbornly to their own opinions or ideologies and dismissing alternative viewpoints as invalid or irrelevant. This rigidity can hinder intellectual growth, inhibit constructive dialogue, and impede social progress.

Closed-Mindedness vs. Open-Mindedness: Narrow-mindedness stands in contrast to open-mindedness, which involves a willingness to consider new ideas, engage with diverse perspectives, and adapt one’s beliefs or attitudes in light of new information. Open-minded individuals demonstrate curiosity, empathy, and intellectual humility, fostering constructive dialogue and fostering mutual understanding.

Impact on Relationships and Society: Narrow-mindedness can strain relationships, create interpersonal conflict, and contribute to social polarization and division within communities or society at large. It impedes collaboration, stifles creativity, and reinforces social barriers, ultimately hindering progress towards a more inclusive and harmonious world.

Narrow-mindedness is a trait characterized by a limited perspective, intolerance of differing views, resistance to new ideas, and rigidity in thinking. While it is natural for individuals to have preferences, convictions, or beliefs, excessive narrow-mindedness can lead to prejudice, closed-mindedness, and social discord. Overcoming narrow-mindedness requires cultivating empathy, curiosity, and intellectual humility, fostering a culture of openness, dialogue, and mutual respect in both personal and societal contexts.


The correct term is “narrow-minded,” with a hyphen between “narrow” and “minded.” This is the standard way to write this compound adjective, indicating someone who is unwilling to consider or accept new ideas or different opinions.

NARROW-MINDED in a sentence

  • His narrow-minded views made it difficult for him to accept new ideas.
  • She found it frustrating to work with such a narrow-minded colleague.
  • The narrow-minded policies of the organization stifled creativity and innovation.
  • Being narrow-minded prevents individuals from appreciating different cultures.
  • His narrow-minded attitude alienated him from the more progressive members of the community.
  • The debate became heated due to his narrow-minded stance on the issue.
  • A narrow-minded approach can often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.
  • They were disappointed by the narrow-minded reaction to their groundbreaking research.


The term narrow-minded combines the adjective narrow with minded. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Narrow: Originating from the Old English word nearu, meaning “limited in extent or scope,” which evolved to describe something restricted or confined.
  • Minded: Derived from the Old English word mynd, denoting “mental faculty” or “intention,” and later adapted to refer to the state or quality of the mind.

Therefore, narrow-minded originally described someone with a restricted or limited mindset, typically characterized by a lack of openness or receptivity to new ideas, perspectives, or experiences. In modern usage, it conveys an individual’s tendency to be intolerant, inflexible, or prejudiced in their views, often demonstrating an unwillingness to consider alternative viewpoints or embrace diversity.


  • Close-minded
  • Intolerant
  • Small-minded
  • Illiberal
  • Insular
  • Parochial
  • Dogmatic
  • Inflexible


  • Open-minded
  • Accepting
  • Broad-minded
  • Tolerant
  • Liberal
  • Progressive
  • Inclusive
  • Flexible


  • Close-mindedness
  • Bigotry
  • Prejudice
  • Ignorance
  • Narrowness
  • Tunnel vision
  • Myopia
  • Limited perspective

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