allow /əˈlaʊ/


I. verb [with obj.]

1. let (someone) have or do something

[with obj. and infinitive]

the dissident was allowed to leave the country
[with two objs]
she was allowed a higher profile.
2. [with obj. and adverbial of direction] let (someone) enter a place or go in a particular direction

the river was patrolled and few people were allowed across.
3. declare or decide that (an event or activity) is legal or acceptable

political advertising on television is not allowed.
4. give the necessary time or opportunity for

they agreed to a ceasefire to allow talks with the government
[with obj. and infinitive]
he stopped to allow his eyes to adjust.
5. [no obj.] ( allow for) make provision or provide scope for

the house was demolished to allow for road widening.
6. [no obj.] ( allow for) take (something) into consideration when making plans or calculations

income rose by 11 per cent allowing for inflation.
7. provide or set aside for a particular purpose

allow an hour or so for driving.
8. [ reporting verb] admit the truth of; concede

[with clause]

he allowed that the penalty appeared too harsh for the crime
[with direct speech]
‘Could happen,’ she allowed indifferently.
9. [with clause]
(N. Amer.)
‹dialect› be of the opinion; assert

Lincoln allowed that he himself could never support the man.
II. phrases

allow me
said when making a polite request or offering help

please allow me to introduce myself
‘Here, allow me,’ came a woman’s voice from behind him.
III. derivatives


[ sentence adverb]

English is allowedly one of the most complete of the European languages
– origin Middle English (originally in the senses ‘commend, sanction’ and ‘assign as a right’): from Old French alouer, from Latin allaudare ‘to praise’, reinforced by medieval Latin allocare ‘to place’ (see allocate).

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