Definition of allow in English:

allow

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Give (someone) permission to do something.

    ‘the dissident was allowed to leave the country’
    • ‘Susanna only had her learner's permit and wasn't allowed to drive without her parents.’
    • ‘Adam reckons I'm not allowed to eat in bed when I move in with him, but we'll see about that.’
    • ‘So I figure that, if I carry on in that way, I should be allowed to continue to make records, providing the industry allows me to.’
    • ‘The plan is to allow workers to divert some percentage of their payroll taxes into private accounts.’
    • ‘This woman was my therapist and had only agreed to accommodate my neediness by allowing me to watch her ride on a Saturday morning during a competition.’
    • ‘Because we are prepared to allow people to make their own decisions we cannot be sure just quite where those decisions will take them.’
    • ‘We have three of the greatest kids there are, simply because some other people were prepared to allow us to adopt those children.’
    • ‘These state laws grant permits allowing practically any citizen without a criminal record to carry a concealed weapon in public.’
    • ‘The council's Community Plan allows residents to get involved to help them draw up policies to shape the future of the borough.’
    • ‘He is the only one allowed to wear that color but the elders are permitted to wear deep blue clothing.’
    • ‘At the rate O'Reilly is going, he'll be the only person allowed to speak in a couple of years.’
    • ‘United Utilities says the permits will allow it to make use of water which would otherwise flow into the River Eamont and River Leven.’
    • ‘Imam said his team would prepare regulations allowing family members to help the visually impaired exercise their political rights.’
    • ‘Faced with these figures, it beggars belief that the Government is prepared to allow people to drink around the clock.’
    • ‘Some residents of Kirkby Lonsdale have been issued with permits allowing not only themselves but also their visitors to park free for an indefinite time.’
    • ‘The public is allowed to watch the proceedings, but no questions are permitted.’
    • ‘However, programmes are not allowed to accept cash or gifts in kind in return for using products.’
    • ‘He respected my family name and permitted me to do things that he clearly did not allow others to do.’
    • ‘Before we do so, we are prepared to allow you 28 days in which to investigate the position and respond accordingly.’
    • ‘They enter South Africa on three-month renewable permits which do not allow them to seek jobs.’
    permit, let, authorize, give someone permission to, give authorization to, give leave to, sanction, grant, grant someone the right, license, empower, enable, entitle, qualify
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with two objects Permit (someone) to have (something)
      ‘he was allowed his first sip of Scotch and soda’
      • ‘Residents in some areas of Swindon could soon only be allowed one parking permit per house.’
      • ‘On a trial basis, the postal service is allowing personalized stamps.’
      • ‘Unlimited jackpots will be allowed, with betting permitted on Christmas Day and Good Friday.’
      • ‘He allowed a small sip, then put it back on the table taking my hands out from around my body and kissed them both.’
      • ‘He allows very few people access to him, and lucky for us, your boyfriend is one of those people.’
      • ‘The amount of liberty allowed to people to express their cultural values is a contentious issue.’
      • ‘On both occasions the accused held a valid permit allowing him to carry a restricted firearm while he was engaged in prospecting.’
      • ‘Those devices that are allowed will only be permitted to incorporate cables and media that limit copying.’
      • ‘The permits only allow one tip per month for anyone using a small van.’
      • ‘They may place limits on the amount or type of personal narrative allowed into the classroom.’
    2. 1.2 Permit (someone) to enter a place or go in a particular direction.
      ‘the river was patrolled and few people were allowed across’
      • ‘Mayor Ray Nagin has invited business owners back into the city, and prepared to allow residents to return.’
      • ‘There are a few people that she allows into her world, including myself.’
      • ‘Jabin whispered to him, and the man stepped aside, allowing his rather large group in.’
      • ‘Possibly the best part about it is that the doorman only allows enough people in so that the place feels exciting, not packed.’
      • ‘The Salford sailor was issued with a identity card that allowed him to freely enter and leave ports and docks.’
      • ‘The council operates a permit scheme to allow vehicles to cross the promenade - at a price.’
      • ‘Thank you for allowing us to enter the throne room of God with our imperfections and doubts.’
      • ‘St Lucian immigration authorities allowed him to enter the country for a five-day stay.’
      • ‘Katelina pushed her key through the lock, turned it, and shoved the door aside, allowing herself entrance into her house.’
      • ‘Only a special permit allows trucks above that weight to pass through.’
      • ‘Legal powers agreed in 1990 allow officers to enter properties and turn off alarms if the owner fails to do so.’
      • ‘The manager was extremely accommodating, allowing us to roll right up to our table for 10.’
      • ‘However, where farmers were prepared to allow hill walkers to use their lands they should receive a payment for that.’
      • ‘David has some interesting things to say about the game, and the morally dubious world it allows you to enter.’
      • ‘If France has a problem with its birth rate, couldn't it just allow more people to immigrate?’
      • ‘Stray cats allowed inside will not be permitted to jump up on or sharpen their claws on the furniture.’
      • ‘This time no one said anything to me, and I was allowed to enter with no questions asked.’
      • ‘We have no business allowing 65,000 people to come in from abroad and take their place.’
      • ‘The werewolf then lowered his pistol and stepped aside, allowing the duo to step into the bank.’
      • ‘Vehicles without such a facility permit will not be allowed into the ranks.’
    3. 1.3 Admit (an event or activity) as legal or acceptable.
      ‘a plan to allow Sunday shopping’
      ‘a reservoir with no hunting or overnight camping allowed’
      • ‘The narrow interior roads could be clogged with increasing traffic if commercial activities are allowed.’
      • ‘Member John Blackie is pushing for changes in the Local Plan to allow barn conversions for local housing.’
      • ‘At the meeting on Tuesday, a number of detailed conditions were agreed to ensure it is clear what type of activities are allowed in the gardens.’
      • ‘Swindon Council's planning committee will decide whether to allow the project to go ahead.’
      • ‘Only one opposition party was allowed to contest the elections; the others called for a boycott of the elections.’
      • ‘They approved the initial event stipulating that if it was successful, they would reconsider allowing a second event to take place the following month.’
      • ‘The claim takes in farms, rivers and national parks but allows commercial activity to continue.’
      • ‘He said members have a plan that will allow churchyard burials to continue ‘for years to come’.’
      • ‘Most of all thanks must go to Mary (the licensee) who allowed this event to be possible.’
      • ‘Last month, a referendum in Egypt approved constitutional changes allowing competitive elections for the presidency.’
      • ‘In 1994, Mitofsky says, he persuaded South Africa's election authorities from allowing exit polls.’
      • ‘The organisers of this year's Wiltshire Festival have signed on the dotted line to allow the huge event to take place.’
      • ‘This created greater economic freedom, as some small-scale private economic activity was allowed.’
      • ‘Wenger allows no events other than football to take place on the tight little pitch, where the fans are almost close enough to the players to touch them.’
      • ‘The government has already changed its World Heritage management plan, allowing the developments in the south-west national park.’
      • ‘The Government has decided not to allow cultural events in the evenings in Lalbagh.’
      • ‘Earlier this month the Federal Justice Minister decided to allow the extradition process to begin.’
      • ‘Yu credits his network of creative friends that allowed this event to take place as an example of how we can get involved.’
      • ‘The established socialized enterprises were allowed to contract work in the developing private sphere.’
      • ‘No commercial announcements or non Church related activities are allowed as they are prohibited by law.’
  • 2Give the necessary time or opportunity for.

    ‘they agreed to a ceasefire to allow talks with the government’
    with object and infinitive ‘he stopped for a moment to allow his eyes to adjust’
    no object dated ‘my household duties were too many to allow of a visit to the hospital’
    • ‘This type of soil will permit good drainage while allowing sufficient water retention.’
    • ‘Making your own arrangements also allows you to inspect the accommodation before you make a commitment.’
    • ‘An online profile allows someone to get more than a skin-deep glimpse of you.’
    • ‘Receiving the videotape before a hospital stay allows the patient to prepare for the hospital stay and view the videotape at a convenient time.’
    • ‘Mobile communication technology is allowing more people in poor countries to gain access to voice communications.’
    • ‘His trembling hand got the glass close enough to his mouth to allow him a sip.’
    • ‘The engine analyzer allowed me to prepare for the worst, and almost certainly saved our lives.’
    • ‘It is this reliance on a shallow soil profile that allows us to grow trees in such shallow pots in the first place.’
    • ‘The international scope of the Internet allows dissident actors to network themselves at a transnational scale.’
    • ‘What makes ice so slippery, allowing these fun activities?’
    • ‘Its open plan layout allows patrons to watch their meals being prepared.’
    • ‘It has always been clear to me that harmony of the mind and the body prepares us and allows us to be able to take on the challenges that life is going to throw at us every day.’
    • ‘Chef Stefan did say that he uses very little condiments in the preparation, allowing the guests to add to their own taste.’
    • ‘He said it is essential that these rates are confirmed with the Commission at an early date to allow farmers to plan with certainty.’
    • ‘The good weather we've experienced over the past two days allowed us to fully prepare the cars for the forthcoming European races.’
    • ‘At 30 minutes, it's the right amount of time and the twists and turns of the journey allow me to prepare myself for my day.’
    • ‘In addition to allowing him to travel throughout the city, the job permits him to meet ‘with all kinds of people’.’
    • ‘This drill also allows cavalry men to prepare for battle on foot.’
    • ‘Churchgate will be closed to traffic to allow the event to take place.’
    • ‘Preparing beans at home allows you to control both their sodium and nutrient contents.’
    1. 2.1allow forno object Make provision or provide scope for (something)
      ‘the house was demolished to allow for road widening’
      • ‘Typically, there will be a provision in the rules allowing for their variation from time to time.’
      • ‘Officials say the defences will allow for a predicted rise in sea level and be built to blend in with the townscape.’
      • ‘The scheme allows for narrowing the entry and provides for four small bays, two of which will contain a park bench seat.’
      • ‘Our goal should be to find ways to allow for smoother orderly traffic flow on our roads.’
      • ‘And, finally, drivers should be aware that they will need to carry cash to allow for toll roads.’
      • ‘In some cases the provision which allows for or requires the thing to be done also prescribes that it must be done personally and not by an agent.’
      • ‘Full membership also allows for discounted fishing throughout the season.’
      • ‘It's not a programmed flight pattern so much as a road map that allows for diversions.’
      • ‘I cannot see anywhere in the legislation a provision that will allow for the removal of those people.’
      • ‘He said that it might be possible to amend the Coroner's Act to allow for such a provision to be made.’
      • ‘Even allowing for his inevitable bias, to figure that 17 decisions went against his team suggests something serious was amiss.’
      • ‘This allows for plot twists and epic scope undreamt of in the 90-minute Hollywood story arc.’
      • ‘The monitor provides a very good picture as well as allowing for two separate inputs to be used.’
      • ‘Its most notable provision allowed for the sale of contraceptives to anyone aged over 18.’
      • ‘Life expectancy is adjusted to allow for the fact that people live part of their lives in less than full health.’
      • ‘During the fifties and the sixties more than 100,000 trees were cut down to allow for the enlargement of roads.’
      • ‘The long road home allowed for a postmortem of the event, and I felt that I should pursue a kind of debriefing with Peter.’
      • ‘The water towers not only provide water but also allow for crop irrigation.’
      • ‘If these wider limits are not allowed for, low volume providers are more likely to be ranked misleadingly at the top or bottom of the group.’
      • ‘Kirkwall's town centre will be closed next week to allow for road resurfacing works.’
      provide for, plan for, make plans for, get ready for, cater for, take into consideration, take into account, make provision for, make preparations for, prepare for, accommodate, make allowances for, make concessions for, arrange for
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2allow forno object Take (something) into consideration when making plans or calculations.
      ‘income rose by 11 percent allowing for inflation’
      • ‘The deposition flux was then calculated by allowing for the burial efficiency.’
      • ‘Plan your trip allowing for short breaks and start out fresh by getting enough sleep in the week leading up to your trip.’
      • ‘Take several cuttings to allow for a percentage of failure and trim the leaves from the lower half of each cutting.’
      • ‘House prices fall at the end of every cycle after allowing for inflation.’
      • ‘You need to allow for the physics of the way that metal moves and consider springback.’
      • ‘A wrong calculation allowing for too little time will result in an unfinished work.’
      • ‘Allowing for obsolescence in intelligence testing is just as essential as allowing for inflation in economic analysis.’
      • ‘Paltry fuel efficiency increases should allow for a few more years of SUV inflation.’
      • ‘But we must allow for the possibility that the more pessimistic forecasts are right.’
      • ‘The revised proposal did not allow for the complete demolition of the building.’
      • ‘Do you know how much you will realistically be able to take out from your pension or invested capital, after allowing for inflation?’
      • ‘Even allowing for recent levels of inflation that would still be worth well over £10,000 at today's prices.’
      • ‘If they were implementing the planning permission, it would be expected they would have allowed for the windows.’
      • ‘Overweight and obesity are defined by the Body Mass Index, or BMI, which is a way of calculating weight, allowing for height.’
      • ‘He identified the problem that the oven hoods were considerably larger than had been allowed for by the designers in their drawings.’
      • ‘We can allow for inflation by just excluding it from both sides of the equation.’
      • ‘Even allowing for inflation, the increase is still one-third.’
      • ‘This small error is systematic and can either be ignored or allowed for in calculation if the temperature is known.’
      • ‘A business plan that does not allow for adjustment can end up very far off the mark.’
      • ‘We calculated drug costs after allowing for an 18% rate of non-adherence to treatment.’
      take into consideration, take into account, bear in mind, keep in mind, not lose sight of, have regard to, provide for, plan for, make plans for, foresee, anticipate, get ready for, cater for, allow for, make provision for, make preparations for, prepare for, accommodate, make concessions for
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 Provide or set aside (a specified amount of something) for a specific purpose.
      ‘allow an hour or so for driving’
      • ‘The current application asks six personal-essay questions and allows 400 words for each answer.’
      • ‘There are three questions that must be asked if we are to develop a coherent legal structure that allows a market in lawsuits.’
      • ‘So we'll talk to you as the weather permits and as we allow ourselves time to talk on the cell phone.’
      • ‘The cup of cream for six eggs is there for one purpose only: to allow the recipe to succeed.’
      • ‘A parent's room is provided to allow them to meet in a friendly atmosphere and this will also be a feature of the new school.’
      • ‘However, patients may need a period of ventilation, as this allows adequate oxygenation.’
      • ‘The extra consultant would allow her department to provide a separate clinic for infected haemophiliacs.’
      • ‘Further questioning revealed that the purpose was to allow flood water to escape more quickly.’
      • ‘The scarf's purpose is to allow the bobbin case hook to get close to the needle eye and catch the thread to form a stitch.’
      • ‘He argued that he should have been given a record of his speed to allow him to prepare his defence.’
      • ‘I put the packs aside and allowed myself another two days to think more about it.’
      set aside, allocate, allot, earmark, designate, spare, devote, give, afford, apportion, assign
      View synonyms
  • 3reporting verb Admit the truth of; concede.

    with clause ‘he allowed that the penalty appeared too harsh for the crime’
    with direct speech ‘“Could happen,” she allowed indifferently’
    • ‘He should have allowed that the British Empire was made out of empty spaces or, in India, collapsing states.’
    • ‘The Federal Court has allowed that treatments are patentable.’
    • ‘Both counsel for the Crown and her Honour allowed that there was an arguable case.’
    • ‘If a body of expert opinion allows that natural cause cannot be excluded as a reasonable possibility, particular caution is required.’
    • ‘If you allowed that it went off by reflex action, you would never succeed.’
    • ‘I hesitated, but allowed that we'd do sort of a trial run for a few months.’
    • ‘The councillor allowed that the skate park as it stood was not satisfactory.’
    admit, acknowledge, recognize, agree, accept, concede, grant, own, confess, accede
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1North American informal, dialect with clause Assert; be of the opinion.
      ‘Lincoln allowed that he himself could never support the man’
      • ‘He allowed that he was going to stay and eat supper with the big old bear.’
      • ‘He allowed that Social Security was ‘the single most successful government program in American history.’’

Origin

Middle English (originally in the senses ‘commend, sanction’ and ‘assign as a right’): from Old French alouer, from Latin allaudare ‘to praise’, reinforced by medieval Latin allocare ‘to place’ (see allocate).

Pronunciation

allow

/əˈlaʊ//əˈlou/