Definition of allow verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; əˈlaʊ

let somebody/something do something

1 to let somebody/something do something; to let something happen or be doneallow somebody to do something His parents won't allow him to stay out late.He is not allowed to stay out late.They shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.allow something to do something He allowed his mind to wander.allow yourself to do something She won't allow herself to be dictated to.allow something Smoking is not allowed in the hall.We do not allow smoking in the hall.2 allow somebody/yourself something to let somebody have somethingYou're allowed an hour to complete the test.I'm not allowed visitors.I sometimes allow myself the luxury of a cigar.3 [usually passive] to let somebody/something go into, through, out of, etc. a placeallow something No dogs allowed (= you cannot bring them in).allow somebody/something + adverb/preposition The prisoners are allowed out of their cells for two hours a day.The crowd parted to allow her through.You won't be allowed up(= out of bed) for several days.

make possible

4 allow something to make something possibleA ramp allows easy access for wheelchairs.

time/money/food, etc.

5 allow something (for somebody/something) to make sure that you have enough of something for a particular purposeHow much time would you allow for the trip?You need to allow three metres of fabric for the dress.


6 (formal) to accept or admit something; to agree that something is true or correctallow something The judge allowed my claim.(in a court of law) ‘Objection!’ ‘I'll allow it.’allow that… He refuses to allow that such a situation could arise.allow somebody something She was very helpful when my mother was ill—I'll allow you that. compare disallow

allow me

used to offer help politely
‘Allow me,’ he said, taking the tray from her.
more at give/allow somebody/something free/full reingive/allow free/full rein to something at rein n.
Phrasal verbs

allow for somebody/something

to consider or include somebody/something when calculating somethingIt will take about an hour to get there, allowing for traffic delays.All these factors must be allowed for.

allow of something

(formal) to make something possibleThe facts allow of only one explanation.
Usage noteUsage note: processDescribing a processThis diagram illustrates the process of paper-making. / This diagram shows how paper is made.First/First of all, logs are delivered to a paper mill, where the bark is removed and the wood is cut into small chips.Next/Second, the wood chips are pulped, either using chemicals or in a pulping machine.Pulping breaks down the internal structure of the wood and enables/allows the natural oils to be removed.Once/After the wood has been pulped, the pulp is bleached in order to remove impurities. /…is bleached so that impurities can be removed.The next stage is to feed the pulp into the paper machine, where it is mixed with water and then poured onto a wire conveyor belt.As the pulp travels along the conveyor belt, the water drains away.This causes the solid material to sink to the bottom, forming a layer of paper.At this point the new paper is still wet, so it is passed between large heated rollers, which press out the remaining water and simultaneously dry the paper. / …dry the paper at the same time.The final stage is to wind the paper onto large rolls. /Finally, the paper is wound onto large rolls. notes at firstly, lastly Language Banks at conclusion, first