dis·​al·​low | \ ˌdis-ə-ˈlau̇ How to pronounce disallow (audio) \
disallowed; disallowing; disallows

Definition of disallow

transitive verb

1 : to deny the force, truth, or validity of
2 : to refuse to allow

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disallow

disallowance \ ˌdis-​ə-​ˈlau̇-​ən(t)s How to pronounce disallowance (audio) \ noun

Examples of disallow in a Sentence

The touchdown was disallowed because of a penalty. disallowing the philosophical concept of free will

Recent Examples on the Web

At the end of his graduate career, the federal government disallowed any further research on psychedelic drugs. Michelle Pitcher, The Mercury News, "Panel discussion promises to be surreal, sublime and psychedelic," 6 Sep. 2019 Because on Saturday evening Tottenham Hotspur were so nearly robbed of a point at the Etihad Stadium, but weren't, because VAR came to the aid of the referee to disallow Gabriel Jesus' last minute goal. SI.com, "90min's Definitive European Power Rankings: Week 2," 23 Aug. 2019 Local authorities, unusually, disallowed the event; police warned that attendees risked up to two years in jail. The Economist, "Why Macau is impervious to the turmoil in Hong Kong," 22 Aug. 2019 The United States’ semifinal victory over England involved a pair of questionable VAR reviews, one disallowing an England goal for a razor-thin offsides infraction, another granting an iffy England penalty in the closing minutes. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "The World Cup’s Instant-Replay Problem," 5 July 2019 First, the college handbook very likely does have general language about academic integrity that disallows collaboration beyond what an instructor has authorized. New York Times, "Is It O.K. if College Students Hire Me to Revise Their Papers?," 10 Sep. 2019 The Revolution appeared to take a 3-1 first-half lead over the Sounders, but an Edgar Castillo goal was disallowed, following a Video Assistant Referee review. Frank Dell’apa, BostonGlobe.com, "A lot changed while Michael Mancienne was sidelined," 13 Aug. 2019 The bureau decided against alternative plans that would completely disallow off-highway vehicles from operating in any part of the monument, opting for limited use in some areas. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump officials say a new plan will protect Bears Ears. Others call it ‘salt in an open wound.’," 26 July 2019 But the referee used the Video Assistant Referee to disallow the goal. Ivan Orozco, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Defense lets Xolos down at Necaxa," 31 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disallow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of disallow

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disallow

Statistics for disallow

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disallow

The first known use of disallow was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for disallow



English Language Learners Definition of disallow

: to refuse to allow (something) : to officially decide that (something) is not acceptable or valid


transitive verb
dis·​al·​low | \ ˌdi-sə-ˈlau̇ How to pronounce disallow (audio) \

Legal Definition of disallow

1 : to deny the truth, force, or validity of disallowed the deduction disallow a bankruptcy claim
2 : to refuse to allow disallow payment of benefits

Other Words from disallow

disallowance noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on disallow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disallow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disallow

Spanish Central: Translation of disallow

Nglish: Translation of disallow for Spanish Speakers

Comments on disallow

What made you want to look up disallow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!