- to give permission to or for; permit: to allow a student to be absent; No swimming allowed.
- to let have; give as one's share; grant as one's right: to allow a person $100 for expenses.
- to permit by neglect, oversight, or the like: to allow a door to remain open.
- to admit; acknowledge; concede: to allow a claim.
- to take into consideration, as by adding or subtracting; set apart: to allow an hour for changing trains.
- Older Use. to say; think.
- Archaic. to approve; sanction.
- to permit something to happen or to exist; admit (often followed by of): to spend more than one's budget allows; a premise that allows of only one conclusion.
- allow for, to make concession or provision for: to allow for breakage.
Origin of allow
Examples from the Web for allow
This week, Florida became the 36th state to allow same-sex marriage.Jeb Bush’s Unseen Anti-Gay Marriage Emails
January 9, 2015
First, they allow Paul to siphon off attention from whichever potential candidate is making news.Rand Paul’s Passive-Aggressive Trolling Campaign
January 6, 2015
By contrast, a gun will allow a pilot to attack hostile forces that are less than 300 feet from friendly ground forces.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019
December 31, 2014
Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dates to soften, about 15 minutes.Make ‘The Chew’s’ Carla Hall’s Sticky Toffee Pudding
December 28, 2014
Allow beans to cool completely then remove to a paper towel-lined plate to dry.Make Carla Hall’s Crispy Shallot Green Bean Casserole
December 27, 2014
He worships every handsome woman, who will allow herself to be polluted by his incense.
Accept them for a dowry; and allow me to claim one privilege in return.
The King of course could not allow one of his subjects to outdo him in such a matter.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
Austin, who did not see the allusion, had to allow Dick to speak for himself.Viviette
William J. Locke
Andrew paused in the shallows to allow Sally one swallow; then he went on.Way of the Lawless
- (tr) to permit (to do something); let
- (tr) to set asidefive hours were allowed to do the job
- (tr) to let enter or staythey don't allow dogs
- (tr) to acknowledge or concede (a point, claim, etc)
- (tr) to let have; granthe was allowed few visitors
- (intr foll by for) to take into accountallow for delays
- (intr often foll by of) to permit; admita question that allows of only one reply
- (tr; may take a clause as object) US dialect to assert; maintain
- (tr) archaic to approve; accept
Word Origin and History for allow
early 14c., allouen, "to commend, praise; approve of, be pleased with; appreciate the value of;" also, "take into account or give credit for," also, in law and philosophy, "recognize, admit as valid" (a privilege, an excuse, a statement, etc.). From late 14c. as "sanction or permit; condone;" in business use from early 15c.
The Middle English word is from Anglo-French alouer, Old French aloer, alloiier (13c.) "allot, apportion, bestow, assign," from Latin allocare (see allocate). This word in Old French was confused and ultimately merged with aloer; alloer "to praise, commend," from Latin allaudare, adlaudare, compound of ad- "to" (see ad-) + laudare "to praise" (see laud). From the first word came the sense preserved in allowance as "money granted;" from the second came its meaning "permission based on approval."
Between the two primary significations there naturally arose a variety of uses blending them in the general idea of assign with approval, grant, concede a thing claimed or urged, admit a thing offered, permit, etc., etc. [OED].
Related: Allowed; allowing.