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verb al·low \ə-ˈlau̇\

Simple Definition of allow

  • : to permit (something) : to regard or treat (something) as acceptable

  • : to permit (someone) to have or do something

  • : to permit (someone) to go or come in, out, etc.

Full Definition of allow

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to assign as a share or suitable amount (as of time or money) <allow an hour for lunch> b :  to reckon as a deduction or an addition <allow a gallon for leakage>

  3. 2 a chiefly Southern & Midland :  to be of the opinion :  think b dial :  say, state c :  to express an opinion —usually used with as how or that

  4. 3 chiefly Southern & Midland :  intend, plan

  5. 4 :  admit, concede <must allow that money causes problems in marriage>

  6. 5 a :  permit <doesn't allow people to smoke in his home> b :  to forbear or neglect to restrain or prevent <allow the dog to roam>

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to make a possibility :  admit —used with of <evidence that allows of only one conclusion>

  9. 2 :  to give consideration to circumstances or contingencies —used with for <allow for expansion>

Examples of allow

  1. a religion that does not allow divorce

  2. They don't allow smoking in this hotel.

  3. I want to change my schedule, but my boss won't allow it.

  4. My boss wouldn't allow me to change my schedule.

  5. They don't allow people to smoke in this hotel.

  6. Women were not allowed in the club.

  7. The hospital doesn't allow visitors after 8 p.m.

  8. Her schedule doesn't allow her any time to run errands.

  9. The system allows you to transfer data easily from one computer to another.

  10. Occasional gaps allow passage through the mountains.

Origin of allow

Middle English, from Anglo-French aluer, alouer to place, apportion, allow, from Middle French allocare — more at allocate

First Known Use: 14th century

ALLOW Defined for Kids


verb al·low \ə-ˈlau̇\

Definition of allow


  1. 1 :  to give permission to <Mom allowed us to stay up late.>

  2. 2 :  to fail to prevent <Don't allow the dog to roam.>

  3. 3 :  to assign as a share or suitable amount (as of time or money) <Our parents allowed us each five dollars to spend.>

  4. 4 :  to accept as true :  concede <I'm willing to allow that he may be right.>

  5. 5 :  to consider when making a decision or a calculation <Our plans didn't allow for the possibility of rain.>

  6. 6 :  to make it possible to have or do something <Your shoes should be big enough to allow for growth.>

Seen and Heard

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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