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Dictionary.com: 'Narrow-minded' means 'conservative'

When you hear the word “narrow-minded,” does “extremely conservative” pop into your head?

It might if you use Dictionary.com as a reference tool.

The online source to learn the meanings of words equates the two, based on information in the Random House Dictionary.

The listing provides three definitions for “narrow-minded”:

  1. having or showing a prejudiced mind, as persons or opinions; biased.
  2. not receptive to new ideas; having a closed mind.
  3. extremely conservative and morally self-righteous.

It also features a list of synonyms, specifically “bigoted, partial, intolerant, illiberal.”

A screen shot of Dictionary.com featuring definitions for the word “narrow-minded.”

Entries from other dictionaries, including the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, make no mention of “conservative” in their definitions.

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WND contacted Random House in New York City for an explanation of how “extremely conservative” was placed into its dictionary as a descriptor for “narrow-minded,” but no one was available to provide an answer. WND was told, though, the company is not working on any updated versions.

“While Random House Reference has no updated editions of our dictionaries currently planned, we continue to actively publish and market our existing editions,” said Meg Rushton of Random House Information Group.

When WND entered the term “conservative” into Dictionary.com, results from eight different dictionaries were returned, with none using the word “narrow-minded” as a definition.

The Random House definitions include as an adjective:

As a noun, it includes:

On its “About” page, Dictionary.com explains it doesn’t produce all the dictionaries appearing on its site. It merely makes them available.

“In that respect we are more like a bookstore or library than a publisher,” it states. “Thus any comments regarding the content of the definitions that appear on our site should properly be directed to the publisher or copyright holder.”

Dictionary.com is part of the Lexico Publishing Group which was acquired last year by Ask.com, the fourth-ranked search engine.

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