AskDefine | Define allow

Dictionary Definition



1 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" [syn: let, permit] [ant: prevent]
2 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" [syn: permit, let, countenance] [ant: forbid, forbid]
3 let have; "grant permission"; "Mandela was allowed few visitors in prison" [syn: grant] [ant: deny]
4 give or assign a share of money or time to a particular person or cause; "I will earmark this money for your research" [syn: appropriate, earmark, set aside, reserve]
5 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" [syn: leave, allow for, provide]
6 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" [syn: take into account]
7 afford possibility; "This problem admits of no solution"; "This short story allows of several different interpretations" [syn: admit]
8 allow the other (baseball) team to score; "give up a run" [syn: give up]
9 grant as a discount or in exchange; "The camera store owner allowed me $50 on my old camera"
10 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" [syn: permit, tolerate]

User Contributed Dictionary



From allouen, from alouer , from Medieval allaudāre, "to praise", (ad-) + laudare, merged with alouer, from Medieval Latin allocāre, "to assign".


  • /əˈlaʊ/, /@"laU/
  • Rhymes: -aʊ


  1. To grant, give, admit, accord, afford, or yield; to let one have
    To allow a servant his liberty
    To allow a free passage
    To allow one day for rest.
    He was allowed about three hundred pounds a year. —Macaulay.
  2. To acknowledge; to accept as true; to concede; to accede to an opinion
    To allow a right; to allow a claim; to allow the truth of a proposition.
    I allow, with Mrs. Grundy and most moralists, that Miss Newcome's conduct . . . was highly reprehensible. —Thackeray.
  3. To grant (something) as a deduction or an addition; esp. to abate or deduct;
    To allow a sum for leakage.
  4. To grant license to; to permit; to consent to.
    To allow a son to be absent
    Smoking allowed only in designated areas.
  5. To let something happen, to admit; to concede;
  6. To take into account by making an allowance.
    When calculating a budget for a construction project, always allow for contingencies.

Derived terms


to grant, give, admit, accord, afford, or yield; to let one have
  • Finnish: sallia, myöntää
  • German: erlauben, zulassen
  • Polish: pozwolić
to acknowledge; to accept as true; to concede; to accede to an opinion
  • Finnish: myöntää, hyväksyä
  • German: akzeptieren
  • Polish: przyznać
to take into account as a deduction or an addition
to permit
to let something happen, to admit, to concede
  • Finnish: sallia
  • German: erlauben, zulassen
  • Hungarian: enged
  • Italian: permettere, concedere
  • Japanese: 許す (yurusu)
  • Polish: przyznać
to make allowance


  • Webster 1913

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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