Definition of “allow” - English Dictionary

“allow” in English

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uk /əˈlaʊ/ us /əˈlaʊ/

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.

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Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “allow” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“allow” in American English

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allowverb [ T ]

us /əˈlɑʊ/

allow verb [ T ] (PERMIT)

to let someone do something or let something happen; permit:

You’re not allowed to talk during the exam.
Are you allowed in the building on weekends?
Video links allow rural schoolchildren to be taught by teachers hundreds of miles away.

allow verb [ T ] (MAKE AVAILABLE)

to make it possible for something to be done or to happen:

He didn’t allow enough time to finish the test.
Be sure to allow room in your bags for the souvenirs you’ll want to bring home.
adjective us /əˈlɑʊ·ə·bəl/

Our well water has nitrates above the allowable level.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “allow” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“allow” in Business English

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allowverb [ T ]

uk /əˈlaʊ/ us

to make it possible for someone to do something, or to not prevent something from happening:

allow sb/sth to do sth The website allows consumers to compare the prices of all energy and telephone providers.
The extra compensation was allowed, overriding regulations that otherwise would not allow the payouts.
Typing in this code will allow access to the data stored on the hard drive.

to give enough time for something to happen:

Allow at least 14 days to receive your policy and cover confirmation.
allow sth for sth You will need to allow up to six weeks for delivery.

ACCOUNTING to take a cost or an amount off your income or profit before the tax owed is calculated:

The Australian Taxation Office allows tax deductions for voluntary donations to charity.

COMMERCE to take a certain amount of money from the price of something :

allow sb sth for sth A dealer will be able to tell you how much you would be allowed in part-exchange for your existing vehicle.

to accept or agree that something is true or correct:

An individual has three years to file a personal injury claim, although the court has the power to allow claims later.
allow that When I pressed her, she allowed that a mistake might have been made.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “allow” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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The guarantees allow countries in difficulties to acquire credit on the international markets more cheaply than they would at normal market rates.
Nevertheless, allow me to make some criticisms.
We believe that all actions which ultimately allow us to increase our growth potential must be treated in the same way.
Clear rules and flexibility are certainly needed to allow a student to earn money legally in reasonable conditions for his or her stay.
There are also those who call themselves campaigners for consumers' rights who allow themselves to be engaged in this cause and help to drive competitors from the market.
We submitted an oral question in this regard to allow a debate worthy of the agreement, but the proposal was dismissed.
The compromise is to allow existing pesticides to continue until the end of their licensing period, but it will be banned in new pesticides.
In addition, if we are to allow the organisations presently in place to reform, this would not be helpful to them in the process.
Any future outbreak must allow vaccinated animals to remain in the food chain to prevent such a terrible waste of resources.
Most countries now allow partners to be officially registered and this category therefore needs to be included in the definition of family members.