allow

verb
al·​low | \ ə-ˈlau̇ \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for allow

Synonyms

green-light, have, permit, suffer

Antonyms

ban, enjoin, forbid, prohibit, proscribe, veto

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Under the plan, the city’s low-rise zones (LR1, LR2 and LR3) would be redefined to allow more density. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle City Council starts debate on upzones; here’s how neighborhoods across the city would be affected," 8 Jan. 2019 This surrounds components like the urethra and swells in order to allow erections. 2. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "11 Things Everyone Should Know About Uncircumcised Penises," 29 Dec. 2018 The news comes after Qualcomm won a similar injunction in China that would have banned sales of older models, although Apple has already updated iOS for Chinese users with new animations to allow sales to continue. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Apple will pull older iPhones from its German stores after Qualcomm wins partial ban," 20 Dec. 2018 But mortgage lender CMG Financial has a division called HomeFundIt that’s tasked with coming up with creative ways to allow people to save. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Need money for a down payment on a house? There’s an app for that.," 17 Dec. 2018 After all, the law allows for only three casino resort licenses and one slots parlor, all relatively far from each other. Andrea Bennett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Will New Casinos Bring a "MassVegas" to New England?," 17 Dec. 2018 This same process allowed Qualcomm to announce its discrete X50 5G modem in 2016, well before 3GPP published its final standard. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855 mobile chip as it readies for 5G," 4 Dec. 2018 All this knowledge has definitely allowed me to design product more easily and certainly with an understanding of scale and quality which really helped with the Corbett lighting collections. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Martyn Lawrence Bullard's Corbett Lighting Collection Is Gorgeously Extravagant," 14 Nov. 2018 Thus, a tweet full of bluster that allowed people to practically taste the chip growing on Gritty’s shoulder could only help pull Gritty into Philly’s good graces. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Gritty’s evolution from googly-eyed hockey mascot to meme to leftist avatar, explained," 24 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of allow

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for allow

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about allow

Statistics for allow

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for allow

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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 \

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 \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on allow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with allow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allow

Spanish Central: Translation of allow

Nglish: Translation of allow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of allow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on allow

What made you want to look up allow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who helps groups work together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!