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 The county rates – used to gauge whether nursing homes can allow visitors – have thus far only been available from federal sources. Jackie Borchardt, The Enquirer, "Ohio to release county coronavirus test data 10 months after feds first required it," 23 Apr. 2021 Armstrong said the program would allow tenants to have an advocate who can help them through the process and potentially keep thousands of families housed. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville approves free legal services for low-income families facing eviction," 23 Apr. 2021 When the legislature convenes for a possible special session later this year related to coronavirus relief, Filler-Corn is hoping that vaccinations will allow all 100 delegates to return to the ornate House chamber. Washington Post, "Virginia House speaker says in-person lawmaking might return soon, defends Democratic control," 23 Apr. 2021 Humphrey is a powerful technician who didn’t allow a sack in 37 career starts. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2021 NFL Draft: Top Interior Offensive Linemen," 23 Apr. 2021 Those residual forces would allow the Biden administration to maintain military and intelligence-gathering capabilities nearby, officials have said. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, "U.S. Beefing Up Defenses to Aid Afghan Withdrawal," 23 Apr. 2021 And Israel and Bahrain reached a first-of-its-kind agreement to recognize vaccine passports from either place and allow quarantine-free travel between the two countries. Eve Sneider, Wired, "The CDC Reviews J&J, India Battles an Outbreak, and More Coronavirus News," 23 Apr. 2021 And will the decision be less clear than simply saying whether Facebook should allow him back or not? Oliver Darcy, CNN, "All eyes are on the Facebook Oversight Board as its decision on Trump's account looms," 22 Apr. 2021 This group show is comprised of artists who share the goal to inspire, educate and allow the public to see art and learn about the creative process. courant.com, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 22 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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Learn More about allow

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

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Allow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allow. Accessed 6 May. 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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