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

Crum said that the asset limit allows a spouse outside the Pioneer Home to keep some income. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Pioneer Home residents and families struggle with ‘heartbreaking’ decisions after rate increase," 18 Sep. 2019 Parents and teens may think that vapes allow users to get the pleasure of smoking without the health risks. NBC News, "Vaping 101: What to know about e-cigs, addiction and illnesses," 17 Sep. 2019 Biproxi is targeting middle-market brokerages that do not have access to large marketing budgets or in-house marketing services, allowing users to browse and list assets for free. San Diego Union-Tribune, "East Village startup gets $10M to build ‘Zillow for commercial real estate’," 17 Sep. 2019 Warmer air holds more moisture, allowing hurricanes to drop more rain. Tristram Korten, Smithsonian, "The Bahamas and the Caribbean Have Withstood Hurricanes for Centuries," 17 Sep. 2019 Energy storage, meanwhile, is key to allowing wind and solar plants to dispatch power even when the sun sets and breezes go slack. Christopher Martin, Fortune, "Why Bill Gates Thinks It’s Time to End Subsidies for Wind and Solar Power," 17 Sep. 2019 Trubisky’s throw was perfectly placed, allowing Robinson to use his body to shield Harris. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "5 observations from rewatching the Bears’ Week 2 win over the Broncos, including an offense that’s stuck and a defense that prevented huge chunk plays," 17 Sep. 2019 More street paving in Portland this week (if the weather allows), this time on Southeast 45th Avenue from Glenwood Street to Harney Drive. oregonlive, "Portland metro Tuesday traffic: Time to get your vehicle ready for the rainy season," 17 Sep. 2019 With the Jets missing several key starters, including starting quarterback Sam Darnold, Cleveland had its way with New York, allowing only 262 yards of offense. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland.com, "Browns vs. Rams preview: 5 things to know about Cleveland’s next opponent," 17 Sep. 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 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

Statistics for allow

Last Updated

5 Oct 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

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