Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To let do or happen; permit.
  • intransitive verb To permit the presence of.
  • intransitive verb To permit to have.
  • intransitive verb To make provision for; assign.
  • intransitive verb To plan for in case of need.
  • intransitive verb To grant as a discount or in exchange.
  • intransitive verb To admit; concede.
  • intransitive verb To think; suppose.
  • intransitive verb To assert; declare.
  • intransitive verb To offer a possibility; admit.
  • intransitive verb To take a possibility into account; make allowance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To grant, give, or yield; assign; afford: as, to allow a free passage.
  • To admit; concede; confess; own; acknowledge: as, to allow the right of private judgment; he allowed that he was wrong; he allowed it might be so.
  • To abate or deduct; take into account; set apart: as, to allow so much for loss; to allow a sum for tare or leakage.
  • To grant permission to; permit: as, to allow a son to be absent.
  • To grant special license or indulgence to.
  • To invest; intrust.
  • To assert, declare, say; or, of mental assertion, to mean, purpose, intend, or, simply, think: the concessive sense presented assertively.
  • Synonyms Allow, Permit, Consent to, Sanction, Suffer, Tolerate. Allow and permit are often used synonymously; but permit strictly denotes a formal or implied assent; allow, the absence of an intent, or even only of an attempt, to hinder.
  • Consent to is formally to permit that which one has the power and generally some disposition to prevent; it implies the assumption of responsibility for that which is thus allowed. Sanction has a secondary sense of permitting with expressed or implied approbation: as, I cannot sanction such a course.
  • Suffer is still more passive or reluctant than allow, and may imply that one does not prevent something, though it is contrary to one's feelings, judgment, or sense of right. To tolerate is to bear with something unpleasant: as, I would not tolerate such impertinence. Many things are tolerated, or suffered, or even allowed, that are not permitted, and many are permitted that are not really consented to, much less sanctioned.
  • To make abatement, concession, or provision: followed by for: as, to allow for the tare.
  • To permit; admit: with of: as, “of this allow,”
  • To praise or commend; approve, justify, or sanction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To admit; to concede; to make allowance or abatement.
  • intransitive verb to permit; to admit.
  • transitive verb Obs. or Archaic To praise; to approve of; hence, to sanction.
  • transitive verb obsolete To like; to be suited or pleased with.
  • transitive verb obsolete To sanction; to invest; to intrust.
  • transitive verb To grant, give, admit, accord, afford, or yield; to let one have
  • transitive verb To own or acknowledge; to accept as true; to concede; to accede to an opinion
  • transitive verb To grant (something) as a deduction or an addition; esp. to abate or deduct.
  • transitive verb To grant license to; to permit; to consent to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To grant, give, admit, accord, afford, or yield; to let one have.
  • verb transitive To acknowledge; to accept as true; to concede; to accede to an opinion.
  • verb transitive To grant (something) as a deduction or an addition; especially to abate or deduct;
  • verb transitive To grant license to; to permit; to consent to.
  • verb To not bar or obstruct.
  • verb intransitive To acknowledge or concede.
  • verb transitive To take into account by making an allowance.
  • verb transitive To render physically possible

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause
  • verb allow the presence of or allow (an activity) without opposing or prohibiting
  • verb allow or plan for a certain possibility; concede the truth or validity of something
  • verb consent to, give permission
  • verb afford possibility
  • verb make it possible through a specific action or lack of action for something to happen
  • verb let have
  • verb allow the other (baseball) team to score

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English allouen, to approve, permit, from Old French alouer, from Latin allaudāre, to praise (ad-, intensive pref.; see ad– + laudāre, to praise; see laud) and from Medieval Latin allocāre, to assign; see allocate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English allouen, from Old French alouer , from Medieval Latin allaudāre, present active infinitive of allaudō, merged with alouer, from Medieval Latin allocō ("to assign").

Examples

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  • The extra money allowed us to stay abroad another day.

    March 30, 2007