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 ofevidence that allows of only one conclusion
2 : to give consideration to circumstances or contingencies used with fora plan that allows for expansion

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Synonyms & Antonyms for allow

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 And Marra ruled in February that prosecutors had violated the rights of dozens of Epstein accusers by secretly reaching a nonprosecution agreement that allowed Epstein to plead guilty to state charges. BostonGlobe.com, "A federal judge in West Palm Beach, Fla., ruled that the women were not entitled to compensation from the US Justice Department, even though prosecutors violated their rights by failing to consult them about the 2008 deal to end a federal probe that could have landed Epstein in prison for life.," 17 Sep. 2019 Publix has 35% of its stores in southeastern states that allow open carry. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Asking customers not to bring guns into stores is one thing. Enforcing the policy is another," 17 Sep. 2019 Higuita brings a similar balance of pace and precision, which allows the Lions to build fluidly through the midfield, then exploit gaps in the box with the team’s more clinical finishers. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Nani praises growth of Orlando City as the captain flourishes in final stretch of season," 17 Sep. 2019 Secret agents: Ohio is among 28 states that allow oil and gas producers to keep from the public the list of drilling and franking chemicals considered trade secrets, the Dispatch’s Beth Burger reports. Laura Hancock, cleveland.com, "Gun bills to get first Ohio legislative hearings after Dayton shooting: Capitol Letter," 17 Sep. 2019 The Kansas State Fair will reevaluate its gun policy this fall because concert security concerns could conflict with state law that allows gun owners to carry their weapons openly. USA TODAY, "Fugitive pig, proverb library, sodium warnings: News from around our 50 states," 16 Sep. 2019 As a result, the developer is requesting that the senior apartment building and four eight-unit senior townhomes be rezoned to the P-2 Institutional District, which allows buildings as tall as 70 feet. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Proposed senior apartment development in Menomonee Falls could include a fitness center, pool and dog wash," 16 Sep. 2019 The strong start can be attributed to a defense that has allowed just 21 points through the first three games this season. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "Arizona State, Kansas State among 5 college football teams off surprising starts," 15 Sep. 2019 The two sites are within federal jurisdiction, which allowed U.S. authorities to file charges with no statute of limitations. Fox News, "Former New Mexico priest, 81, sentenced to 30 years for sex abuse of altar boy," 15 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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Time Traveler for allow

Time Traveler

The first known use of allow was in the 14th century

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Statistics for allow

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Allow.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/allowing. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for allow

allow

verb
How to pronounce allow (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for allow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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