[ uh-lou-uhns ]
See synonyms for: allowanceallowances on

  1. the act of allowing.

  2. an amount or share allotted or granted.

  1. a sum of money allotted or granted for a particular purpose, as for expenses: Her allowance for the business trip was $200.

  2. a sum of money allotted or granted to a person on a regular basis, as for personal or general living expenses: The art student lived on an allowance of $600 a month.When I was in first grade, my parents gave me an allowance of seven dollars a week.

  3. an addition or deduction based on an extenuating or qualifying circumstance: an allowance for profit;an allowance for depreciation.

  4. acknowledgment; concession: the allowance of a claim.

  5. passive permission resulting from lack of interference; toleration: the allowance of slavery.

  6. Machinery. a prescribed difference in dimensions of two closely fitting mating parts with regard to minimum clearance or maximum interference.: Compare tolerance (def. 6a).

verb (used with object),al·low·anced, al·low·anc·ing.
  1. to place on a fixed allowance, as of food or drink.

  2. to allocate (supplies, rations, etc.) in fixed or regular amounts.

Idioms about allowance

  1. make allowance / allowances (for),

    • to take mitigating factors or circumstances into consideration.

    • to pardon; excuse.

    • to reserve time, money, etc.; allow for: Make allowance for souvenirs on the return trip.

Origin of allowance

1350–1400; Middle English alouance<Middle French. See allow, -ance

Other words for allowance

Opposites for allowance

Other words from allowance

  • pre·al·low·ance, noun
  • su·per·al·low·ance, noun

Words Nearby allowance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use allowance in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for allowance


/ (əˈlaʊəns) /

  1. an amount of something, esp money or food, given or allotted usually at regular intervals

  2. a discount, as in consideration for something given in part exchange or to increase business; rebate

  1. (in Britain) an amount of a person's income that is not subject to a particular tax and is therefore deducted before his or her liability to taxation is assessed

  2. a portion set aside to compensate for something or to cover special expenses

  3. British education a salary supplement given to a teacher who is appointed to undertake extra duties and responsibilities

  4. admission; concession

  5. the act of allowing; sanction; toleration

  6. something allowed

  7. make allowances or make allowance (usually foll by for)

    • to take mitigating circumstances into account in consideration (of)

    • to allow (for)

  1. (tr) to supply (something) in limited amounts

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with allowance


see make allowance.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.