WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
al•low /əˈlaʊ/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. [not: be + ~-ing] to give permission to or for;permit: [+ object]I won't allow it.[+ object + to + verb]How often does she allow a student to miss class?[~ + verb-ing]The school does not allow smoking on campus.
  2. [not: be + ~ing;  ~ + object + object] to let have;
    give as one's share: The school allowed each person $100 for expenses.
  3. to permit by neglect:[not: be + ~-ing;  ~ + object + to + verb]How could you allow that to happen?
  4. to admit;
    acknowledge:[not: be + ~-ing;  ~ + (that) clause]I had to allow that he was right.
  5. to approve, as for payment:[~ + object]The insurance adjustor allowed my claim for a new windshield.
  6. to assign or allocate (time to do something);
    set apart in reserve:[~ + object (+ for + object)]Allow an hour for changing planes.
  7. [not: be + ~-ing;  ~ + of] to make possible;
    admit: Your premise allows of only one conclusion.
  8. Idioms allow for, [+ for + object] to make provision for: to allow for breakage.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
al•low  (ə lou),USA pronunciation v.t. 
  1. to give permission to or for;
    permit:to allow a student to be absent; No swimming allowed.
  2. to let have;
    give as one's share;
    grant as one's right:to allow a person $100 for expenses.
  3. to permit by neglect, oversight, or the like:to allow a door to remain open.
  4. to admit;
    acknowledge;
    concede:to allow a claim.
  5. to take into consideration, as by adding or subtracting;
    set apart:to allow an hour for changing trains.
  6. Slang Terms[Older Use.]to say;
    think.
  7. [Archaic.]to approve;
    sanction.

v.i. 
  1. to permit something to happen or to exist;
    admit (often fol. by of):to spend more than one's budget allows; a premise that allows of only one conclusion.
  2. allow for, to make concession or provision for:to allow for breakage.
  • Late Latin allocāre; see al-, locus; the older sense "approve, sanction'' and Middle English sense "praise'' probably by taking the Anglo-French verb, verbal as representing Medieval Latin, Latin adlaudāre to praise; see ad-, laud
  • Anglo-French al(l)o(u)er to place, allot, allow, Old French aloer to place
  • Middle English alowen 1250–1300
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Allow, let, permit imply granting or conceding the right of someone to do something.
      Allow and
      permit are often interchangeable, but
      permit is the more positive.
      Allow implies complete absence of an attempt, or even an intent, to hinder.
      Permit suggests formal or implied assent or authorization.
      Let is the familiar, conversational term for both
      allow and
      permit.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged forbid, prohibit.


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

allow /əˈlaʊ/ vb
  1. (transitive) to permit (to do something); let
  2. (transitive) to set aside: five hours were allowed to do the job
  3. (transitive) to let enter or stay: they don't allow dogs
  4. (transitive) to acknowledge or concede (a point, claim, etc)
  5. (transitive) to let have; grant: he was allowed few visitors
  6. (intransitive) followed by for: to take into account
  7. (intransitive) often followed by of: to permit; admit: a question that allows of only one reply
  8. (tr; may take a clause as object) US dialect to assert; maintain
Etymology: 14th Century: from Old French alouer, from Late Latin allaudāre to extol, influenced by Medieval Latin allocāre to assign, allocate



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