Definition of allow in US English:

allow

verb

[with object]
  • 1 Give (someone) permission to do something.

    ‘the dissident was allowed to leave the country’
    • ‘At the rate O'Reilly is going, he'll be the only person allowed to speak in a couple of years.’
    • ‘Before we do so, we are prepared to allow you 28 days in which to investigate the position and respond accordingly.’
    • ‘We have three of the greatest kids there are, simply because some other people were prepared to allow us to adopt those children.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Adam reckons I'm not allowed to eat in bed when I move in with him, but we'll see about that.’
    • ‘He respected my family name and permitted me to do things that he clearly did not allow others to do.’
    • ‘However, programmes are not allowed to accept cash or gifts in kind in return for using products.’
    • ‘Faced with these figures, it beggars belief that the Government is prepared to allow people to drink around the clock.’
    • ‘Susanna only had her learner's permit and wasn't allowed to drive without her parents.’
    • ‘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 council's Community Plan allows residents to get involved to help them draw up policies to shape the future of the borough.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is the only one allowed to wear that color but the elders are permitted to wear deep blue clothing.’
    • ‘The public is allowed to watch the proceedings, but no questions are permitted.’
    • ‘Imam said his team would prepare regulations allowing family members to help the visually impaired exercise their political rights.’
    • ‘They enter South Africa on three-month renewable permits which do not allow them to seek jobs.’
    • ‘The plan is to allow workers to divert some percentage of their payroll taxes into private accounts.’
    • ‘These state laws grant permits allowing practically any citizen without a criminal record to carry a concealed weapon in public.’
    • ‘United Utilities says the permits will allow it to make use of water which would otherwise flow into the River Eamont and River Leven.’
    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’
      • ‘The amount of liberty allowed to people to express their cultural values is a contentious issue.’
      • ‘The permits only allow one tip per month for anyone using a small van.’
      • ‘He allows very few people access to him, and lucky for us, your boyfriend is one of those people.’
      • ‘On a trial basis, the postal service is allowing personalized stamps.’
      • ‘Residents in some areas of Swindon could soon only be allowed one parking permit per house.’
      • ‘Unlimited jackpots will be allowed, with betting permitted on Christmas Day and Good Friday.’
      • ‘On both occasions the accused held a valid permit allowing him to carry a restricted firearm while he was engaged in prospecting.’
      • ‘He allowed a small sip, then put it back on the table taking my hands out from around my body and kissed them both.’
      • ‘Those devices that are allowed will only be permitted to incorporate cables and media that limit copying.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Salford sailor was issued with a identity card that allowed him to freely enter and leave ports and docks.’
      • ‘Mayor Ray Nagin has invited business owners back into the city, and prepared to allow residents to return.’
      • ‘We have no business allowing 65,000 people to come in from abroad and take their place.’
      • ‘If France has a problem with its birth rate, couldn't it just allow more people to immigrate?’
      • ‘Legal powers agreed in 1990 allow officers to enter properties and turn off alarms if the owner fails to do so.’
      • ‘There are a few people that she allows into her world, including myself.’
      • ‘Possibly the best part about it is that the doorman only allows enough people in so that the place feels exciting, not packed.’
      • ‘Jabin whispered to him, and the man stepped aside, allowing his rather large group in.’
      • ‘Katelina pushed her key through the lock, turned it, and shoved the door aside, allowing herself entrance into her house.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Vehicles without such a facility permit will not be allowed into the ranks.’
      • ‘David has some interesting things to say about the game, and the morally dubious world it allows you to enter.’
      • ‘However, where farmers were prepared to allow hill walkers to use their lands they should receive a payment for that.’
      • ‘The manager was extremely accommodating, allowing us to roll right up to our table for 10.’
      • ‘Only a special permit allows trucks above that weight to pass through.’
      • ‘The werewolf then lowered his pistol and stepped aside, allowing the duo to step into the bank.’
      • ‘St Lucian immigration authorities allowed him to enter the country for a five-day stay.’
    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 Government has decided not to allow cultural events in the evenings in Lalbagh.’
      • ‘Last month, a referendum in Egypt approved constitutional changes allowing competitive elections for the presidency.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This created greater economic freedom, as some small-scale private economic activity was allowed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Only one opposition party was allowed to contest the elections; the others called for a boycott of the elections.’
      • ‘The established socialized enterprises were allowed to contract work in the developing private sphere.’
      • ‘Yu credits his network of creative friends that allowed this event to take place as an example of how we can get involved.’
      • ‘He said members have a plan that will allow churchyard burials to continue ‘for years to come’.’
      • ‘They approved the initial event stipulating that if it was successful, they would reconsider allowing a second event to take place the following month.’
      • ‘Earlier this month the Federal Justice Minister decided to allow the extradition process to begin.’
      • ‘The organisers of this year's Wiltshire Festival have signed on the dotted line to allow the huge event to take place.’
      • ‘Most of all thanks must go to Mary (the licensee) who allowed this event to be possible.’
      • ‘No commercial announcements or non Church related activities are allowed as they are prohibited by law.’
      • ‘The narrow interior roads could be clogged with increasing traffic if commercial activities are allowed.’
      • ‘Swindon Council's planning committee will decide whether to allow the project to go ahead.’
      • ‘Member John Blackie is pushing for changes in the Local Plan to allow barn conversions for local housing.’
      • ‘The claim takes in farms, rivers and national parks but allows commercial activity to continue.’
      • ‘In 1994, Mitofsky says, he persuaded South Africa's election authorities from allowing exit polls.’
      • ‘The government has already changed its World Heritage management plan, allowing the developments in the south-west national park.’
  • 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’
    • ‘Chef Stefan did say that he uses very little condiments in the preparation, allowing the guests to add to their own taste.’
    • ‘Preparing beans at home allows you to control both their sodium and nutrient contents.’
    • ‘The international scope of the Internet allows dissident actors to network themselves at a transnational scale.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Churchgate will be closed to traffic to allow the event to take place.’
    • ‘An online profile allows someone to get more than a skin-deep glimpse of you.’
    • ‘Mobile communication technology is allowing more people in poor countries to gain access to voice communications.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This type of soil will permit good drainage while allowing sufficient water retention.’
    • ‘The engine analyzer allowed me to prepare for the worst, and almost certainly saved our lives.’
    • ‘In addition to allowing him to travel throughout the city, the job permits him to meet ‘with all kinds of people’.’
    • ‘He said it is essential that these rates are confirmed with the Commission at an early date to allow farmers to plan with certainty.’
    • ‘His trembling hand got the glass close enough to his mouth to allow him a sip.’
    • ‘Its open plan layout allows patrons to watch their meals being prepared.’
    • ‘This drill also allows cavalry men to prepare for battle on foot.’
    • ‘The good weather we've experienced over the past two days allowed us to fully prepare the cars for the forthcoming European races.’
    • ‘Making your own arrangements also allows you to inspect the accommodation before you make a commitment.’
    • ‘Receiving the videotape before a hospital stay allows the patient to prepare for the hospital stay and view the videotape at a convenient time.’
    • ‘What makes ice so slippery, allowing these fun activities?’
    • ‘It is this reliance on a shallow soil profile that allows us to grow trees in such shallow pots in the first place.’
    1. 2.1allow forno object Make provision or provide scope for (something)
      ‘the house was demolished to allow for road widening’
      • ‘Even allowing for his inevitable bias, to figure that 17 decisions went against his team suggests something serious was amiss.’
      • ‘He said that it might be possible to amend the Coroner's Act to allow for such a provision to be made.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Typically, there will be a provision in the rules allowing for their variation from time to time.’
      • ‘I cannot see anywhere in the legislation a provision that will allow for the removal of those people.’
      • ‘Full membership also allows for discounted fishing throughout the season.’
      • ‘The scheme allows for narrowing the entry and provides for four small bays, two of which will contain a park bench seat.’
      • ‘Its most notable provision allowed for the sale of contraceptives to anyone aged over 18.’
      • ‘And, finally, drivers should be aware that they will need to carry cash to allow for toll roads.’
      • ‘Kirkwall's town centre will be closed next week to allow for road resurfacing works.’
      • ‘This allows for plot twists and epic scope undreamt of in the 90-minute Hollywood story arc.’
      • ‘The long road home allowed for a postmortem of the event, and I felt that I should pursue a kind of debriefing with Peter.’
      • ‘Officials say the defences will allow for a predicted rise in sea level and be built to blend in with the townscape.’
      • ‘The monitor provides a very good picture as well as allowing for two separate inputs to be used.’
      • ‘Our goal should be to find ways to allow for smoother orderly traffic flow on our roads.’
      • ‘During the fifties and the sixties more than 100,000 trees were cut down to allow for the enlargement of roads.’
      • ‘The water towers not only provide water but also allow for crop irrigation.’
      • ‘It's not a programmed flight pattern so much as a road map that allows for diversions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Life expectancy is adjusted to allow for the fact that people live part of their lives in less than full health.’
      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’
      • ‘Take several cuttings to allow for a percentage of failure and trim the leaves from the lower half of each cutting.’
      • ‘A business plan that does not allow for adjustment can end up very far off the mark.’
      • ‘A wrong calculation allowing for too little time will result in an unfinished work.’
      • ‘The deposition flux was then calculated by allowing for the burial efficiency.’
      • ‘Paltry fuel efficiency increases should allow for a few more years of SUV inflation.’
      • ‘This small error is systematic and can either be ignored or allowed for in calculation if the temperature is known.’
      • ‘Do you know how much you will realistically be able to take out from your pension or invested capital, after allowing for inflation?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The revised proposal did not allow for the complete demolition of the building.’
      • ‘Overweight and obesity are defined by the Body Mass Index, or BMI, which is a way of calculating weight, allowing for height.’
      • ‘You need to allow for the physics of the way that metal moves and consider springback.’
      • ‘We calculated drug costs after allowing for an 18% rate of non-adherence to treatment.’
      • ‘Plan your trip allowing for short breaks and start out fresh by getting enough sleep in the week leading up to your trip.’
      • ‘House prices fall at the end of every cycle after allowing for inflation.’
      • ‘Even allowing for recent levels of inflation that would still be worth well over £10,000 at today's prices.’
      • ‘But we must allow for the possibility that the more pessimistic forecasts are right.’
      • ‘Allowing for obsolescence in intelligence testing is just as essential as allowing for inflation in economic analysis.’
      • ‘If they were implementing the planning permission, it would be expected they would have allowed for the windows.’
      • ‘He identified the problem that the oven hoods were considerably larger than had been allowed for by the designers in their drawings.’
      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’
      • ‘He argued that he should have been given a record of his speed to allow him to prepare his defence.’
      • ‘Further questioning revealed that the purpose was to allow flood water to escape more quickly.’
      • ‘The cup of cream for six eggs is there for one purpose only: to allow the recipe to succeed.’
      • ‘I put the packs aside and allowed myself another two days to think more about it.’
      • ‘The current application asks six personal-essay questions and allows 400 words for each answer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘The extra consultant would allow her department to provide a separate clinic for infected haemophiliacs.’
      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’
    • ‘I hesitated, but allowed that we'd do sort of a trial run for a few months.’
    • ‘He should have allowed that the British Empire was made out of empty spaces or, in India, collapsing states.’
    • ‘If you allowed that it went off by reflex action, you would never succeed.’
    • ‘If a body of expert opinion allows that natural cause cannot be excluded as a reasonable possibility, particular caution is required.’
    • ‘Both counsel for the Crown and her Honour allowed that there was an arguable case.’
    • ‘The councillor allowed that the skate park as it stood was not satisfactory.’
    • ‘The Federal Court has allowed that treatments are patentable.’
    admit, acknowledge, recognize, agree, accept, concede, grant, own, confess, accede
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1North American, British 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/