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

      

    allow

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//əˈlaʊ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈlaʊ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they allow
    BrE BrE//əˈlaʊ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈlaʊ//
     
    he / she / it allows
    BrE BrE//əˈlaʊz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈlaʊz//
     
    past simple allowed
    BrE BrE//əˈlaʊd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈlaʊd//
     
    past participle allowed
    BrE BrE//əˈlaʊd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈlaʊd//
     
    -ing form allowing
    BrE BrE//əˈlaʊɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈlaʊɪŋ//
     
     
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    let somebody/something do something
  1. 1  to let somebody/something do something; to let something happen or be done allow 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. 2  allow somebody/yourself something to let somebody have something You're allowed an hour to complete the test. I'm not allowed visitors. I sometimes allow myself the luxury of a cigar.
  3. 3  [usually passive] to let somebody/something go into, through, out of, etc. a place allow something No dogs allowed (= you cannot bring them in). allow somebody/something + adv./prep. 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.
  4. make possible
  5. 4  allow something to make something possible A ramp allows easy access for wheelchairs. Language BankprocessDescribing a process This 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.
  6. time/money/food, etc.
  7. 5  allow something (for somebody/something) to make sure that you have enough of something for a particular purpose How much time would you allow for the trip? You need to allow three metres of fabric for the dress.
  8. accept/admit
  9. 6(formal) to accept or admit something; to agree that something is true or correct allow 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
  10. Wordfinderallow, emancipation, freedom, imprisonment, independence, liberty, oppress, restriction, rule, slave Word 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’, from ad- ‘to’ + locare, from locus ‘place’.Extra examples The pressure cooker is designed to allow faster cooking at lower temperatures. We aren’t allowed out after 10 p.m. You are not allowed to ride bicycles on a motorway. ‘Objection!’ ‘I’ll allow it.’ A ramp has been installed to allow better access for wheelchairs. He is allowed visitors for ten minutes once a week. His parents won’t allow him to stay out late. Motor vehicles are not allowed in the park. No dogs allowed. She was very helpful when my mother was ill—I’ll allow you that. She won’t allow herself to be dictated to. Smoking is not allowed in here. The crowd parted to allow her though. The increased space allows powerful search features to be incorporated. The new community centre will allow people to meet up more and enjoy themselves. The patient was not allowed up for a week. The schedule is designed to allow maximum flexibility. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. Wear clothing that allows easy movement. You are not allowed to smoke in here. You’re allowed half an hour to complete the test.Idioms used to offer help politely ‘Allow me,’ he said, taking the tray from her.
    give/allow somebody/something free/full ˈrein, give/allow free/full ˈrein to something
     
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    to give somebody complete freedom of action; to allow a feeling to be expressed freely The designer was given free rein. The script allows full rein to her larger-than-life acting style. When I paint I just give my imagination free rein.
    Phrasal Verbsalˈlow for somebodyalˈlow of something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: allow