9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-lou-uh ns] /əˈlaʊ əns/
the act of allowing.
an amount or share allotted or granted.
a sum of money allotted or granted for a particular purpose, as for expenses:
Her allowance for the business trip was $200.
a sum of money allotted or granted to a person on a regular basis, as for personal or general living expenses:
The art student lived on an allowance of $300 a month. When I was in first grade, my parents gave me an allowance of 50 cents a week.
an addition or deduction based on an extenuating or qualifying circumstance:
an allowance for profit; an allowance for depreciation.
acknowledgment; concession:
the allowance of a claim.
sanction; tolerance:
the allowance of slavery.
Machinery. a prescribed difference in dimensions of two closely fitting mating parts with regard to minimum clearance or maximum interference.
Compare tolerance (def 6a).
Coining. tolerance (def 7).
verb (used with object), allowanced, allowancing.
to place on a fixed allowance, as of food or drink.
to allocate (supplies, rations, etc.) in fixed or regular amounts.
make allowance / allowances (for),
  1. to take mitigating factors or circumstances into consideration.
  2. to pardon; excuse.
  3. to reserve time, money, etc.; allow for:
    Make allowance for souvenirs on the return trip.
Origin of allowance
1350-1400; Middle English alouance < Middle French. See allow, -ance
Related forms
preallowance, noun
superallowance, noun
2. allotment. 4. stipend. 7. permission, authorization, approval, sufferance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for allowance
  • We talked about bringing in part of our allowance and doing extra chores to earn money.
  • Only the doc sync costs money, although you do get a much bigger bandwidth allowance for the money.
  • His office allowance should have been reduced by the same amount.
  • We also had to cough up money for an office-appropriate wardrobe, subway fare, and lunch allowance every day.
  • To do so, those exporters will also have to make full allowance for the amount of fish caught illegally.
  • They often find their housing allowance exceeds the rent for attractive off-base housing.
  • And it provides a monthly housing allowance and an annual stipend for textbooks.
  • Clearly, different combinations of allowance and tax rate would generate different results.
  • Open the square pairs and lightly press the seam allowance to one side.
  • My mission was to sample as much sugar as my stomach and allowance allowed.
British Dictionary definitions for allowance


an amount of something, esp money or food, given or allotted usually at regular intervals
a discount, as in consideration for something given in part exchange or to increase business; rebate
(in Britain) an amount of a person's income that is not subject to a particular tax and is therefore deducted before his or her liability to taxation is assessed
a portion set aside to compensate for something or to cover special expenses
(Brit, education) a salary supplement given to a teacher who is appointed to undertake extra duties and responsibilities
admission; concession
the act of allowing; sanction; toleration
something allowed
(usually foll by for) make allowances, make allowance
  1. to take mitigating circumstances into account in consideration (of)
  2. to allow (for)
(transitive) to supply (something) in limited amounts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for allowance

late 14c., "praise" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French aloance "allowance, granting, allocation," from alouer (see allow). Sense of "a sum alloted to meet expenses" is from c.1400. In accounts, meaning "a sum placed to one's credit" is attested from 1520s. To make allowances is literally to add or deduct a sum from someone's account for some special circumstance. Figurative use of the phrase is attested from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with allowance


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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