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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for allow

Synonyms

green-light, have, permit, suffer

Antonyms

ban, enjoin, forbid, prohibit, proscribe, veto

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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

Robert Mugabe allowed millions of acres of commercial farms to be seized in the early 2000s. The Editorial Page, WSJ, "How to Stop a South African Land Grab," 23 Nov. 2018 But the bill would allow insurers to refuse to cover certain illnesses. Linda Qiu, The Seattle Times, "A Fact-Checker’s Guide to Thanksgiving Politics," 21 Nov. 2018 But today's ruling allows ESN's lawsuit against Comcast to proceed as well. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Charter, Comcast don’t have 1st Amendment right to discriminate, court rules," 19 Nov. 2018 Using these analyses to pinpoint potential outbreak hot spots allows health care organizations and governments to direct resources to that area. Mallory Locklear, Discover Magazine, "With Big Data and Predictive Analytics, Scientists Are Getting Smarter About Outbreaks," 8 Nov. 2018 These global sites allow NASA to remain in constant communication with spacecraft through radio waves picked up by antenna. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Probe Gets Closer to Sun Than Any Human-Made Object in History," 30 Oct. 2018 Luckily, the separate entrance for adults through the loft in the bedroom allows taller family members to get in on the fun. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Narnia-Inspired Bedroom Will Give You Major Room Envy," 30 Oct. 2018 As a general rule of thumb, allow one pound of turkey per person. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Score a Free Turkey for Thanksgiving This Year," 30 Oct. 2018 The luxury home furnishings brand just released Palette by One Kings Lane, a new online feature that allows shoppers to customize a selection of upholstered furniture. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "One Kings Lane is the Answer to Your Custom Furniture Needs," 17 Oct. 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.

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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

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Statistics for allow

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for allow

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

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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 \
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

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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

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