Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of allow
Meaning of allow by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English allouen, from Old French alouer , from Medieval Latin allaudāre ( “to praise” ), ( ad- ) + laudare, merged with alouer, from Medieval Latin allocāre ( “to assign” ) .


    • IPA: /əˈlaʊ/, X-SAMPA: /@"laU/
    • enPR: ə-lou'
    • Rhymes: -aʊ


    allow ( third-person singular simple present allows present participle allowing, simple past and past participle allowed )

    1. ( transitive ) 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 .
    2. ( transitive ) 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 .
    3. ( transitive ) To grant ( something ) as a deduction or an addition; especially to abate or deduct;
      To allow a sum for leakage .
    4. ( transitive ) To grant license to; to permit; to consent to .
      To allow a son to be absent
      Smoking allowed only in designated areas .
    5. To not bar or obstruct .
      Although I don't consent to their holding such meetings, I will allow them for the time being .
    6. ( intransitive ) To acknowledge or concede.
    7. ( transitive ) To take into account by making an allowance .
      When calculating a budget for a construction project, always allow for contingencies .
    8. ( transitive ) To render physically possible


    • allot, assign, bestow, concede, admit, let, permit, suffer, tolerate

    Derived terms

    • allowance
    • allowable

    See also

    • allow in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913


Explanation of allow by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. allow or plan for a certain possibility

    2. I allow for this possibility
    3. give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause

    4. consent to, give permission

    5. I cannot allow you to see your exam
    6. allow the presence of or allow ( an activity ) without opposing or prohibiting

    7. We don't allow dogs here
    8. let have

    9. Mandela was allowed few visitors in prison
    10. grant as a discount or in exchange

    11. The camera store owner allowed me $50 on my old camera
    12. make it possible through a specific action or lack of action for something to happen

    13. This sealed door won't allow the water come into the basement
    14. allow the other ( baseball ) team to score

    15. make a possibility or provide opportunity for

    16. The evidence allows only one conclusion
      allow for mistakes
    17. afford possibility

    18. This short story allows of several different interpretations