allow

verb al·low \ ə-ˈlau̇ \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of allow

transitive verb
1 a : permit
  • doesn't allow people to smoke in his home
b : to fail to restrain or prevent
  • allow the dog to roam
2 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
3 : admit, concede
  • must allow that money causes problems in marriage
4 a 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

Examples of allow in a Sentence

  1. a religion that does not allow divorce

  2. They don't allow smoking in this hotel.

  3. I want to change my schedule, but my boss won't allow it.

  4. My boss wouldn't allow me to change my schedule.

  5. They don't allow people to smoke in this hotel.

  6. Women were not allowed in the club.

  7. The hospital doesn't allow visitors after 8 p.m.

  8. Her schedule doesn't allow her any time to run errands.

  9. The system allows you to transfer data easily from one computer to another.

  10. Occasional gaps allow passage through the mountains.

Recent Examples of allow from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of allow

Middle English, from Anglo-French aluer, alouer to place, apportion, allow, from Middle French allocare — more at allocate



ALLOW Defined for English Language Learners

allow

verb

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

allow

verb al·low \ ə-ˈlau̇ \

Definition of allow for Students

allowed; allowing
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.

Law Dictionary

allow

transitive verb al·low \ ə-ˈlau̇ \

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

allowability

\ə-ˌlau̇-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

allowable

play \ə-ˈlau̇-ə-bəl\ adjective


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