Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “allow”

See all translations

allow

verb uk   /əˈlaʊ/ us  

allow verb (GIVE PERMISSION)

B1 [T] to give permission for someone to do something, or to not prevent something from happening: [+ to infinitive] Do you think Dad will allow you to go to Jamie's party? You're not allowed to talk during the exam. Her proposals would allow (= make it possible for) more people to stay in full-time education. The loophole has allowed hundreds of drink-drivers to avoid prosecution. The government has refused to allow foreign journalists into the area for several weeks. Prisoners have been moved to allow the demolition of part of the prison. Pets aren't allowed in this hotel. [+ -ing verb] Smoking is not allowed in this restaurant. [+ two objects] He didn't allow us enough time to finish the test. Red Cross officials were allowed access to the prison for the first time a few days ago. UK The referee decided to allow (= officially accept) the goal. At the weekend I allow myself (= I give myself the special pleasure of having) a box of chocolates. How much time do you allow yourself (= make available to yourself) to get ready in the morning?allow me old-fashioned a polite expression used when offering to help in some way: You can't carry all those bags yourself - please, allow me.
More examples

allow verb (ADMIT)

[+ that] formal to admit or agree that something is true: She allowed that she might have been too suspicious.
(Definition of allow from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of allow?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “allow” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

be in/out of luck

to be able/unable to have or do what you want

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More