allow

verb
al·​low | \ ə-ˈlau̇ How to pronounce allow (audio) \
allowed; allowing; allows

Definition of allow

transitive verb

1a : permit doesn't allow people to smoke in his home
b : to fail to restrain or prevent allow the dog to roam
2a : 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 : admit, concede must allow that money causes problems in marriage
4a chiefly Southern US and Midland US : to be of the opinion : think
b dialect : say, state
c : to express an opinion usually used with as how or that
5 chiefly Southern US and Midland US : intend, plan

intransitive verb

1 : to make a possibility : admit used with of evidence that allows of only one conclusion
2 : to give consideration to circumstances or contingencies used with for a plan that allows for expansion
3 : to give an opportunity : permit She worked on the project here and there as time allowed. This should take 5 minutes for 1 strength-cardio circuit combo. If time allows, repeat once more for a 10-minute workout or twice more for a 15-minute workout.— Tracy Teare This plan is being implemented in phases as funding allows.Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier

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Synonyms & Antonyms for allow

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of allow in a Sentence

a religion that does not allow divorce They don't allow smoking in this hotel. I want to change my schedule, but my boss won't allow it. My boss wouldn't allow me to change my schedule. They don't allow people to smoke in this hotel. Women were not allowed in the club. The hospital doesn't allow visitors after 8 p.m. Her schedule doesn't allow her any time to run errands. The system allows you to transfer data easily from one computer to another. Occasional gaps allow passage through the mountains.
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Recent Examples on the Web Hartford Athletic will allow 50% capacity at Dillon Stadium for home games this upcoming season, the team announced Friday. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Hartford Athletic to allow 50 percent capacity for 2021 home games," 9 Apr. 2021 Provisions like this one also allow builders needed flexibility, said Bill Castelli, senior vice president of governmental affairs at Maryland Realtors, a group that had voiced concerns about the construction requirements in the bill. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland lawmakers make deep cuts to key climate bill with end of legislative session looming," 9 Apr. 2021 The hope is that these sorts of requirements will allow schools to return to the normalcy that everyone so desperately wants. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Vaccine Passports Are Inevitable," 9 Apr. 2021 One interpretation of these results is that those activities and social interactions allow people to exercise their cognitive skills. Jackie Rocheleau, Forbes, "Chronic Stress Is Unhealthy, But A Little Stress Isn’t Always So Bad," 9 Apr. 2021 The Timbers organization announced last month that the Oregon Health Authority will allow 25% capacity at the outdoor stadium, which means up to 6,300 fans can attend. oregonlive, "What to know about the Portland Thorns as they kick off 2021 against Kansas City in NWSL Challenge Cup," 8 Apr. 2021 Organizers have said that forming a union would allow workers to collectively bargain over issues including safety standards, training and compensation. Sebastian Herrera, WSJ, "Amazon’s Union Vote Count Set to Begin in Alabama," 8 Apr. 2021 Neutrinos go as straight through the universe as Einsteinian gravity will allow. Star Tribune, "Hunting ghost particles beneath the world's deepest lake," 8 Apr. 2021 In a leadership training session, Ballard noted that the latest General Handbook updates allow single men to serve as counselors in bishoprics and stake presidencies in young single adult wards and stakes. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Latest from Mormon Land: Dallin Oaks’ ‘supreme’ sacrifice, and General Conference highs and lows," 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of allow

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(t)

History and Etymology for allow

Middle English alowen, allowen "to commend, approve of, legally recognize, permit, take into account, compensate," borrowed from Anglo-French aluer, aloer "to place, allot, commend, accept as legally valid, permit, take into account, assess," probably in part from a- (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + loer "to praise," going back to Latin laudāre; in part going back to Medieval Latin allocāre "to place, admit, credit" — more at laud entry 2, allocate

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Time Traveler for allow

Time Traveler

The first known use of allow was in the 14th century

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Statistics for allow

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allow. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for allow

allow

verb

English Language Learners 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.

allow

verb
al·​low | \ ə-ˈlau̇ How to pronounce allow (audio) \
allowed; allowing

Kids Definition of allow

1 : to give permission to Mom allowed us to stay up late.
2 : to fail to prevent Don't allow the dog to roam.
3 : to assign as a share or suitable amount (as of time or money) Our parents allowed us each five dollars to spend.
4 : to accept as true : concede I'm willing to allow that he may be right.
5 : to consider when making a decision or a calculation Our plans didn't allow for the possibility of rain.
6 : to make it possible to have or do something Your shoes should be big enough to allow for growth.
al·​low | \ ə-ˈlau̇ How to pronounce allow (audio) \

Legal Definition of allow

: to give approval of or permission for: as
a : to grant fulfillment of allowed her petition for relief
b : to decide in favor of allow a deduction on a tax return
c : to permit to be presented allows his claim more jurisdictions will allow the cause of action

Other Words from allow

allowability \ ə-​ˌlau̇-​ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
allowable \ ə-​ˈlau̇-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce allow (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on allow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allow

Nglish: Translation of allow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allow for Arabic Speakers

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