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allow

[uh-lou] /əˈlaʊ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to give permission to or for; permit:
to allow a student to be absent; No swimming allowed.
2.
to let have; give as one's share; grant as one's right:
to allow a person $100 for expenses.
3.
to permit by neglect, oversight, or the like:
to allow a door to remain open.
4.
to admit; acknowledge; concede:
to allow a claim.
5.
to take into consideration, as by adding or subtracting; set apart:
to allow an hour for changing trains.
6.
Older Use. to say; think.
7.
Archaic. to approve; sanction.
verb (used without object)
8.
to permit something to happen or to exist; admit (often followed by of):
to spend more than one's budget allows; a premise that allows of only one conclusion.
Idioms
9.
allow for, to make concession or provision for:
to allow for breakage.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English alowen < Anglo-French al(l)o(u)er to place, allot, allow, Old French aloer to place < Late Latin allocāre; see al-, locus; the older sense “approve, sanction” and Middle English sense “praise” probably by taking the Anglo-French v. as representing Medieval Latin, Latin adlaudāre to praise; see ad-, laud
Related forms
preallow, verb (used with object)
Synonyms
1. Allow, let, permit imply granting or conceding the right of someone to do something. Allow and permit are often interchangeable, but permit is the more positive. Allow implies complete absence of an attempt, or even an intent, to hinder. Permit suggests formal or implied assent or authorization. Let is the familiar, conversational term for both allow and permit.
Antonyms
1. forbid, prohibit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for allowing
  • Walker's plants grow in well-spaced clusters, allowing their natural forms to shine.
  • Remove the bucket, allowing the collar to close in upon itself.
  • It was expensive to maintain and took up too much of the yard, she says, not allowing enough space for gardening.
  • Weave the long end of wire through the next two corners, allowing them to overlap slightly.
  • After completing the design and allowing the caulking to dry, she applied tile grout and left it to dry overnight.
  • Let rise, and add salt to dough, allowing two teaspoons to each cup of dough.
  • Wrap in lettuce leaves, allowing two tablespoons mixture to each portion.
  • Let stand two hours in salted water, allowing two tablespoons salt to one quart water.
  • Cover with alum water, allowing two teaspoons powdered alum to each quart of water.
  • They all contain a strainer to hold coffee without allowing grounds to mix with infusion.
British Dictionary definitions for allowing

allow

/əˈlaʊ/
verb
1.
(transitive) to permit (to do something); let
2.
(transitive) to set aside: five hours were allowed to do the job
3.
(transitive) to let enter or stay: they don't allow dogs
4.
(transitive) to acknowledge or concede (a point, claim, etc)
5.
(transitive) to let have; grant: he was allowed few visitors
6.
(intransitive) foll by for. to take into account: allow for delays
7.
(intransitive) often foll by of. to permit; admit: a question that allows of only one reply
8.
(transitive; may take a clause as object) (US, dialect) to assert; maintain
9.
(transitive) (archaic) to approve; accept
Word Origin
C14: from Old French alouer, from Late Latin allaudāre to extol, influenced by Medieval Latin allocāre to assign, allocate
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 allowing

allow

v.

early 14c., allouen, "to commend, praise; approve of, be pleased with; appreciate the value of;" also, "take into account or give credit for," also, in law and philosophy, "recognize, admit as valid" (a privilege, an excuse, a statement, etc.). From late 14c. as "sanction or permit; condone;" in business use from early 15c.

The Middle English word is from Anglo-French alouer, Old French aloer, alloiier (13c.) "allot, apportion, bestow, assign," from Latin allocare (see allocate). This word in Old French was confused and ultimately merged with aloer; alloer "to praise, commend," from Latin allaudare, adlaudare, compound of ad- "to" (see ad-) + laudare "to praise" (see laud). From the first word came the sense preserved in allowance as "money granted;" from the second came its meaning "permission based on approval."

Between the two primary significations there naturally arose a variety of uses blending them in the general idea of assign with approval, grant, concede a thing claimed or urged, admit a thing offered, permit, etc., etc. [OED].
Related: Allowed; allowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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