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

Five's power allows him to jump through space and time. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "All of The Umbrella Academy's Powers, Explained," 25 Feb. 2019 On Wednesday, Trump said an Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State will not be allowed back into the United States. Karla Adam, The Seattle Times, "Shamima Begum, teenager who joined ISIS, to lose UK citizenship," 20 Feb. 2019 That allows for a wider scanning area and should result in better unlocking accuracy. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "10 Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, and S10+ features that actually surprised us," 20 Feb. 2019 The process of thawing and refreezing can disrupt the bacteria and mold that naturally grow in aging food, allowing them to multiply when the temperature rises enough. Christina Oehler, Woman's Day, "This Is How Long Frozen Meat Is Good For," 22 Jan. 2019 But the British competition isn't the only one adopting the change: CountryLiving.com confirms that trios will be allowed to audition in the U.S. for season 16! Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Blind Auditions Are Changing in a Big Way," 6 Jan. 2019 Also the big unshuttered and often curtainless windows that allow a clear view of whatever—and whoever—is inside. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 Second, riders who are already certified as using state low-income programs like CalFresh or PG&E Care will be allowed to have the $1-to-unlock fee waived. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Oakland official: “We want to get Americans out of their cars and solve racism”," 12 Dec. 2018 The Senate version would have allowed for up to seven charter schools statewide and provide for up to 1,000 education savings accounts for parents to pay for private school. John Raby, The Seattle Times, "Despite bill’s demise, W.Va. teachers to strike for 2nd day," 20 Feb. 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

9 Mar 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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