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

If it’s signed into law and allowed to take effect, doctors who perform abortions on women at any stage of pregnancy could face 99 years in prison. Glamour, "With the Alabama Abortion Ban, Republicans Rule Embryos Are People (but Women Aren’t)," 15 May 2019 Now, Martha has teamed up with Uber for the relaunch of Uber Black, which allows riders to personalize their trips with premium features, including settings for silent mode, temperature control, and luggage notification. Sarah Solomon, Town & Country, "Martha Stewart Slammed Uber on Instagram Last Year. Now They've Made Up.," 15 May 2019 Less demanding aerodynamic targets have allowed the GT to have some cleaner design; its doors don’t have the integral air channels of the S-suffix models, and both front and rear bumpers have more structure and less gap. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "The 2020 McLaren GT Is a Mid-Engined Supercar Built for Luxurious Grand Touring," 15 May 2019 Another theory is that taking CBD allows our own naturally produced cannabinoids to stick around in our bodies longer, prolonging the calming effect. Stephanie Dolgoff, Good Housekeeping, "Does CBD Oil Work for Anxiety? I Tried It to Find Out," 13 May 2019 Lumi also addresses the issue of dirty water two ways: Drain vents and an evaporation pan in the base allow any water to dry up quickly and completely—away from the bristles—so there’s never any standing water to breed germs. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Never Touch a Dirty Toilet Brush Again," 6 May 2019 Draw the eye through the space Part of making a visually pleasing space is allowing the eye to move effortlessly through your room. Lauren Hubbard, ELLE Decor, "Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate the Simplicity of White," 1 May 2019 He and his team not only allowed Epstein to avoid a long prison sentence but also worked with Epstein’s lawyers to make sure the case was kept as quiet as possible. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 This option is available to anyone who’s state allows it. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian's Neon Pink Bikini Barely Covers Anything," 27 Apr. 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

18 May 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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