What does allow mean?

Definitions for allow

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word allow.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. let, allow, permitverb

    make it possible through a specific action or lack of action for something to happen

    "This permits the water to rush in"; "This sealed door won't allow the water come into the basement"; "This will permit the rain to run off"

  2. permit, allow, let, countenanceverb

    consent to, give permission

    "She permitted her son to visit her estranged husband"; "I won't let the police search her basement"; "I cannot allow you to see your exam"

  3. allow, grantverb

    let have

    "grant permission"; "Mandela was allowed few visitors in prison"

  4. allow, appropriate, earmark, set aside, reserveverb

    give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause

    "I will earmark this money for your research"; "She sets aside time for meditation every day"

  5. leave, allow for, allow, provideverb

    make a possibility or provide opportunity for; permit to be attainable or cause to remain

    "This leaves no room for improvement"; "The evidence allows only one conclusion"; "allow for mistakes"; "leave lots of time for the trip"; "This procedure provides for lots of leeway"

  6. allow, take into accountverb

    allow or plan for a certain possibility; concede the truth or validity of something

    "I allow for this possibility"; "The seamstress planned for 5% shrinkage after the first wash"

  7. admit, allowverb

    afford possibility

    "This problem admits of no solution"; "This short story allows of several different interpretations"

  8. give up, allowverb

    allow the other (baseball) team to score

    "give up a run"

  9. allowverb

    grant as a discount or in exchange

    "The camera store owner allowed me $50 on my old camera"

  10. allow, permit, tolerateverb

    allow the presence of or allow (an activity) without opposing or prohibiting

    "We don't allow dogs here"; "Children are not permitted beyond this point"; "We cannot tolerate smoking in the hospital"


  1. allowverb

    To grant, give, admit, accord, afford, or yield; to let one have.

  2. allowverb

    To acknowledge; to accept as true; to concede; to accede to an opinion.

  3. allowverb

    To grant (something) as a deduction or an addition; especially to abate or deduct;

    To allow a sum for leakage.

  4. allowverb

    To grant license to; to permit; to consent to.

  5. allowverb

    To not bar or obstruct.

    Although I don't consent to their holding such meetings, I will allow them for the time being.

  6. allowverb

    To acknowledge or concede.

  7. allowverb

    To take into account by making an allowance.

    When calculating a budget for a construction project, always allow for contingencies.

  8. allowverb

    To render physically possible

  9. Etymology: From allouen, from alouer, from Medieval allaudāre, (ad-) + laudare, merged with alouer, from Medieval Latin allocāre.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To ALLOWverb

    Etymology: allouer, Fr. from allaudare.

    The principles, which all mankind allow for true, are innate; those, that men of right reason admit, are the principles allowed by all mankind. John Locke.

    The pow’r of musick all our hearts allow;
    And what Timotheus was, is John Dryden now. Alexander Pope, Ess. Crit.

    As to what is alleged, that some of the Presbyterians declared openly against the king’s murder, I allow it to be true. Jonathan Swift.

    We will not, in civility, allow too much sincerity to the professions of most men; but think their actions to be interpreters of their thoughts. John Locke.

    I will help you to enough of them, and shall be ready to allow the pope as little power here as you please. Jonathan Swift.

    Let’s follow the old earl, and get the beldam
    To lead him where he would; his roguish madness
    Allows itself to any thing. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 1 Thess. ii. 4.

    They referred all laws, that were to be passed in Ireland, to be considered, corrected and allowed first by the state of England. John Davies, on Ireland.

    There is no slander in an allow’d fool. William Shakespeare, Tw. Night.

    Ungrateful then! if we no tears allow
    To him that gave us peace and empire too. Edmund Waller.

    If we consider the different occasions of ancient and modern medals, we shall find they both agree in recording the great actions and successes in war; allowing still for the different ways of making it, and the circumstances that attended it. Addison.


  1. allow

    To permit, give permission, or provide the opportunity for something to happen, often by not doing something to prevent it. It can also refer to acknowledging or admitting something to be true or valid.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Allowverb

    to praise; to approve of; hence, to sanction

  2. Allowverb

    to like; to be suited or pleased with

  3. Allowverb

    to sanction; to invest; to intrust

  4. Allowverb

    to grant, give, admit, accord, afford, or yield; to let one have; as, to allow a servant his liberty; to allow a free passage; to allow one day for rest

  5. Allowverb

    to own or acknowledge; to accept as true; to concede; to accede to an opinion; as, to allow a right; to allow a claim; to allow the truth of a proposition

  6. Allowverb

    to grant (something) as a deduction or an addition; esp. to abate or deduct; as, to allow a sum for leakage

  7. Allowverb

    to grant license to; to permit; to consent to; as, to allow a son to be absent

  8. Allowverb

    to admit; to concede; to make allowance or abatement

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Allow

    al-low′, v.t. to grant: to permit: to acknowledge: to abate: make allowance for: (obs.) invest, entrust: assert, say (coll. in U.S.).—adj. Allow′able, that may be allowed: not forbidden: lawful.—n. Allow′ableness.—adv. Allow′ably.—n. Allow′ance, that which is allowed: a limited portion of anything: a stated quantity—of money, &c., to meet expenses: abatement: approbation: permission.—v.t. to put any one upon an allowance: to supply anything in limited quantities.—To make allowance for, to take excusing circumstances into account. [O. Fr. alouer, to grant—L. ad, to, and locāre, to place.—Allow, in the sense of approve or sanction, as used in B. and by old writers, has its root in L. allaudāread-, and laudāre, to praise.]

Editors Contribution

  1. allow

    To give permission to.

    Time did allow for their love to connect and for them to marry before the date they choose as they knew they were both so right for each other.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 15, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'allow' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #854

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'allow' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1328

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'allow' in Verbs Frequency: #59

How to pronounce allow?

How to say allow in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of allow in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of allow in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of allow in a Sentence

  1. Yvan Sagnet:

    They refuse to allow workers to bring food or water. They force them to pay 5 euros each for transport to the fields and to return to the ghettos to sleep at night. They sell food, panini for 3.50 euros and bottles of water for 1.50 euros, often they take workers' papers if they have any documents at all, using this as leverage to keep them from fleeing and making them a kind of slave. They charge them rent in the ghettos, they even make them pay for old tyres to burn for heat and warmth in winter.

  2. Auditor Dusty Rhodes:

    For the Sisters of Charity, an alleged Catholic order, to allow him to use their facilities is just sending all the wrong signals.

  3. Del Mazo:

    We are considering the use of advanced technology, because drones would allow us to have permanent aerial patrols in the area and be able to react much more efficiently and quickly.

  4. Cruise Passenger Lynch:

    I'm especially excited about the new Loire cruises because it's a river which has yet to be explored, paddle ships will allow this to be done for the first time in 2015.

  5. Amit Gupta:

    Electricity is a big problem here, it often cuts (off) several times a day, so these buildings are structured in a way that prevents overheating. The curvatures allow for an even distribution of wind for an enhanced cooling effect.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for allow

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • أذن, سمح ب, سمحArabic
  • дазволіць, дазваляцьBelarusian
  • признавам, позволявам, допускам, давам, разрешавамBulgarian
  • deixarCatalan, Valencian
  • dovolit, povolitCzech
  • tillade, acceptereDanish
  • akzeptieren, erlauben, zulassen, einberechnenGerman
  • παρέχω, παραδέχομαι, αφήνω, παραχωρώ, χορηγώ, επιτρέπω, αναγνωρίζωGreek
  • permitir, dejar, concederSpanish
  • lubamaEstonian
  • varata, hyväksyä, varautua, sallia, myöntää, antaa lupa, tehdä varaus, antaa alennusFinnish
  • laisser, accorder, permettreFrench
  • lig, leomh, ceadaigh, lamháilIrish
  • leig leScottish Gaelic
  • deixarGalician
  • अनुमतिHindi
  • pèmètHaitian Creole
  • enged, elfogad, hagy, megenged, engedélyezHungarian
  • թույլ տալArmenian
  • grantarIdo
  • permettere, lasciare, concedereItalian
  • 許すJapanese
  • អនុញ្ញាតKhmer
  • 허락Korean
  • patior, permitto, immitto, praetermittoLatin
  • ļautLatvian
  • дозволуваMacedonian
  • membenarkanMalay
  • laten doenDutch
  • pozwolić, przyznać, wziąć pod uwagęPolish
  • aceitar, considerar, permitir, deixarPortuguese
  • lăsa, acorda, permite, îngădui, admiteRomanian
  • учесть, позволить, разрешать, позволять, разрешить, [[принимать]] [[в, [[принять]] [[в, учитывать, допускать, допустить, признавать, признатьRussian
  • lassare, lassaiSardinian
  • дозволити, dozvolitiSerbo-Croatian
  • dovoliť, povoliťSlovak
  • dovolitiSlovene
  • idhinishaSwahili
  • дозволити, дозволятиUkrainian
  • leyî, laireWalloon

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"allow." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/allow>.

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    express strong disapproval of
    • A. restore
    • B. condemn
    • C. conceal
    • D. conform

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