allowance

1 of 2

noun

al·​low·​ance ə-ˈlau̇-ən(t)s How to pronounce allowance (audio)
1
a
: a sum granted as a reimbursement or bounty or for expenses
a salary that includes a cost-of-living allowance
especially : a sum regularly provided for personal or household expenses
Each child receives a weekly allowance.
b
: a fixed or available amount
provide an allowance of time for recreation
c
: a share or portion allotted or granted
d
: a reduction from a list price or stated price
a trade-in allowance
2
: the act of regarding bad behavior or a mistake as less serious or bad because of some special circumstance
Some allowance should be made for her inexperience.
The plan makes no allowance for bad weather.
3
: the act of allowing something : permission
4
: an allowed dimensional difference between mating parts of a machine
5
: an imposed handicap (as in a horse race)

allowance

2 of 2

verb

allowanced; allowancing

transitive verb

1
archaic : to put on a fixed allowance (as of food and drink)
2
archaic : to supply in a fixed or regular quantity

Examples of allowance in a Sentence

Noun a monthly allowance for household expenses Each of their children gets a weekly allowance of five dollars. the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C the tax allowance for married couples They performed poorly, but allowances should be made for their inexperience.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
For the remaining 10 percent, the NYCHA will likely introduce a utility allowance to ensure that the switch to a heat pump doesn’t increase expenses. Matt Simon, WIRED, 29 Mar. 2024 Here, the city has negotiated seven months of free rent and a large tenant improvement allowance, with up to $1.7 million in move-in costs covered by the landlord. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Mar. 2024 All other chancellors receive housing allowances instead. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 25 Mar. 2024 The allowance was eliminated in 1975 for large producers and reduced for smaller companies, which are still allowed to deduct 15 percent of their revenue from their taxable income. Lisa Friedman, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2024 There’s no allowance for taxes or portfolio management costs. William Baldwin, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Image Another subsidy, dating from 1926 and known as the depletion allowance, initially let oil companies deduct their taxable income by 27.5 percent, a number that seemed strangely specific. Lisa Friedman, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2024 There are special allowances for communities where residents have livestock, or where many homes have swamp coolers that consume more water. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2024 Robbins had been earning even more through other compensation like retirement funding, a car allowance and other bonuses. The Arizona Republic, 4 Mar. 2024
Verb
Saladino recommends adding in foods by increasing your macros allowance a little bit at a time. Cori Ritchey, Men's Health, 30 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'allowance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English allowaunce, allouance "commendation, confirmation (of a privilege), allocation of funds," borrowed from Anglo-French alouance, allowance "admission as legally valid, allocation, payment," from aluer, aloer "to place, allot, accept as legally valid" + -ance -ance — more at allow

Verb

derivative of allowance entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

Verb

1758, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of allowance was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near allowance

Cite this Entry

“Allowance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allowance. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

allowance

noun
al·​low·​ance
ə-ˈlau̇-ən(t)s
1
a
: a share or portion given out
b
: a sum given
gets a weekly allowance
an allowance for expenses
c
: a reduction from a stated price
a trade-in allowance on a car
2
: an allowed difference between parts that fit together in a machine
3
: the act of allowing : permission
4
: an allowing for things that may partly excuse an offense or mistake or for things that may happen
make allowance for age

Legal Definition

allowance

noun
al·​low·​ance ə-ˈlau̇-əns How to pronounce allowance (audio)
1
: an allotted share: as
a
: a sum granted as a reimbursement or payment for expenses
an allowance to support the deceased's family
deduction for a moving allowance
b
: a sum granted as a reduction or increase
an allowance for depreciation
2
: an act of allowing
allowance of a deduction

More from Merriam-Webster on allowance

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