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 ofevidence that allows of only one conclusion
2 : to give consideration to circumstances or contingencies used with fora 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 The new measures -- which allow curbside pickup for restaurants and limit indoor gatherings to 10 people -- take effect Friday. Fox News, "Could new Cuomo COVID restrictions cause an uptick in violent crime?," 12 Nov. 2020 Usually, those games allow the offense/defense to fine-tune everything and be in game-shape going into the conference games. oregonlive, "Oregon State mailbag: Should Tristan Gebbia start, why not pressure Washington State’s quarterback, what’s up with Nick Rolovich?," 10 Nov. 2020 The settlement reached earlier this month will now allow those detained by NYPD to retain their religious headwear while in custody and require trainings for NYPD officers about the new policy. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "NYPD can no longer force Muslim women to remove hijabs in mug shots, settlement says," 10 Nov. 2020 More data will allow Dynamite’s four rules of building a planetary system to be refined and its predictions improved. Daniel Apai, The Conversation, "Exoplanets are still out there – a new model tells astronomers where to look for more using 4 simple variables," 9 Nov. 2020 The extra space will give officers more space, modernize the department, allow for private interviews, and improve security. Sue Kiesewetter, The Enquirer, "Fairfield Twp. police station expansion underway," 6 Nov. 2020 The university also won’t allow carpooling for academic work and may adjust public transport to reduce the number of people grouped together. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "University of Akron would consider going remote before Thanksgiving break, if cases continue to climb," 6 Nov. 2020 The Fair Tax Amendment would have changed that to allow a progressive tax and would have made tax increases easier. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Letter: Week of November 2," 6 Nov. 2020 Marc Tolson of Arrive Architectural Group spoke before the council to request zoning modifications that would allow developers to build up to four stories tall, and would lower the minimum rental unit size. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "New apartment complex will replace 73 townhouses in Richardson," 4 Nov. 2020

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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Allow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allow. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for allow

allow

verb
How to pronounce allow (audio)

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 allowable (audio) \ adjective

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