Definition of allow
1 a : 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>
5 a : permit <doesn't allow people to smoke in his home> b : to forbear or neglect to restrain or prevent <allow the dog to roam>
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 <allow for expansion>
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.
Origin and Etymology of allow
Middle English, from Anglo-French aluer, alouer to place, apportion, allow, from Middle French allocare — more at allocate
First Known Use: 14th century
ALLOW Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of allow for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of allow for Students
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.>
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>
allowable\ə-ˈlau̇-ə-bəl\ play adjective
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up allow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).