Definition of disallow in English:



[with object]
  • Refuse to declare valid.

    ‘he was offside and the goal was disallowed’
    • ‘The clauses in the contract for the delivery and deployment of the SS - 23 missile system disallowing its re-sale, donation or transfer to the territory of another country would be honoured, he said.’
    • ‘There was a 20% reduction in the number of appeals against decisions disallowing unemployment payments, while appeals relating to disability benefit fell by 13%.’
    • ‘The single grievance leading to this appeal arises out of the trial judge's refusal to disallow the evidence of what was said between the appellant and the police officers prior to arrest.’
    • ‘It provides that the Judge may disallow such costs but it does not say that he has to do so.’
    • ‘Scholars disapproved of frivolous divorces and might help by disallowing oaths if evidence showed that the man had been temporarily insane or in some way mentally deficient, or that he had pronounced an incorrect formula.’
    • ‘The only problem with disallowing such evidence is that it might not then be made available; this is unlikely because manufacturers will continue to provide any evidence that is favourable to their claims.’
    • ‘For example, the Wildlife Protection Act undermines its own potential by disallowing Community Reserves to be declared on government land.’
    • ‘The only exception to this rule is that transitions to stop codons are disallowed.’
    • ‘No advantage was given and the goal was disallowed because of the infringement.’
    • ‘In this case the flag has gone up and the referee has had to disallow the goal.’
    • ‘However, the goal was disallowed after Hilborn was called for a pushing-off foul.’
    • ‘Bill C - 325, introduced by Canadian Alliance MP Rick Casson, was defeated by a Liberal majority disallowing volunteer emergency workers to deduct $3,000 from their taxable income.’
    • ‘Better, said Blatter, to allow an offside goal than to disallow a good one.’
    • ‘The Federal Court has supported the Tax Commissioner in disallowing tax breaks for investments in the Lismore-based Australian Tea Tree Oil Research Institute.’
    • ‘But in 2001, the Supreme Court handed down a decision against The New York Times, disallowing the electronic distribution of archived stories done by freelancers who had copyrights on the material.’
    • ‘Excessive job security that disallows employers from getting rid of redundant labour is the main cause for this jobless growth.’
    • ‘The UN Special Committee that vetoes imports to Iraq disallows essential painkillers, such as morphine and other chemotherapy medicines.’
    • ‘As such, we disallow it as a valid operation on numbers.’
    • ‘Indeed, the plaintiffs in this case (Tufford v. Merck) are relying on decisions disallowing the use of animal tests by plaintiffs to prove causation.’
    • ‘The particular Louisiana statute which allows emergency controls on firearms also clearly disallows the complete prohibition being imposed by the New Orleans chief of police.’
    reject, refuse, dismiss, say no to
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘disown, refuse to accept’): from Old French desalouer.