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verb [transitive] allow pronunciation in British English /əˈlaʊ/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participleallowing
past tenseallowed
past participleallowed

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    to give someone permission to do or have something

    I'm sorry, sir, but smoking is not allowed.

    allow someone to do something:

    She only allows the children to watch television at weekends.

    I'm not allowed to drive my dad's car.

    allow someone something:

    Some prisoners are allowed visitors.

    allow yourself something:

    I'm on a diet but I allow myself an occasional piece of cake.

    allow someone in/back/through etc:

    If you leave the club, you will not be allowed back in.

  2. 2
    to give someone or something the time or opportunity to do something
    allow something to do something:

    Allow the cake to cool for five minutes before taking it out of the tin.

    allow someone to do something:

    Unfortunately, they didn't allow me to explain the thinking behind my decision.

    1. a.
      if something such as an object or situation allows you to do something, it makes it possible for you to do it
      allow someone to do something:

      DVD allows you to record programmes and watch them later.

  3. 3
    to make certain that you have enough of something such as time, food, or money for a particular purpose

    Please allow 28 days for delivery.

    How much rice do you allow for each person?

  4. 5
    formal to admit or accept that something is true
    allow that:

    She allowed that the matter was serious.

phrasal verbs


a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

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