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

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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

Likewise, Google is starting to respond to Microsoft, whose Skype videoconferencing apps are becoming more defined by their ability to transcribe and translate content than just allowing more than one employee to talk to one another. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "5 Google G Suite changes that will improve your life," 11 Apr. 2019 Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter notes that allowing photographers to capture a photo of the newborn so quickly is a silent negotiation between the royals and the press. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Meghan Markle's Birth Plan Will Differ from Kate Middleton's," 11 Apr. 2019 The system extends situational awareness by allowing the soldiers to see threats, waypoints, objectives, and other items of interest superimposed upon the giant screens in an augmented reality-style view. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Crazy Ad for an Israeli Future Tank Is Something Else," 12 Mar. 2019 The Trump administration has recently relaxed the ACA’s requirement that all insurance plans cover contraception, allowing even major Fortune 500 firms to refuse to cover birth control over any religious or moral objection. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Is employer-sponsored insurance really a good deal for workers?," 7 Feb. 2019 Many critics are asking how this scam was allowed to go on for so long—and why college admissions officers did not notice the malpractice earlier. Tyler Kingkade, Town & Country, "College Admissions Has a Fact-Checking Problem. Here's Why.," 24 Mar. 2019 The screens inside 2 SOPS are so sensitive that people without clearance aren’t even allowed to look at them. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Inside the Locked Rooms Where They Protect GPS," 22 Mar. 2019 On that morning in Italy, dressed in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton, a SaksFirst Limitless client entered the historic chapel at dawn before anyone else was allowed in. Diana Nguyen, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Woman Behind New York’s Most Glamorous Closets," 22 Mar. 2019 Remove from the heat, stir in the chia seeds, and allow the mixture to cool. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Sakara Brings Healthy Eating Home With Their New Made-for-Instagram Cookbook," 19 Mar. 2019

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

20 Apr 2019

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 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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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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