Basic+ Word of the Day: allow

allow (verb) past tense: allowed LISTEN

If you allow someone to do something, it means that you say that they can do it.

  • They allow their children to eat dessert every night.

If you allow something to happen, it means that you don’t stop it from happening.

  • Why did you allow him to do something so dangerous?

Allow can also mean that someone or something can go in a place.

  • They don't allow food or drink in the museum.

Common uses

When we can’t do something because someone doesn’t allow us to do it, we often say that we aren’t allowed to do it. For example, “You aren’t allowed to smoke inside.”

In pop culture

To be polite, you can say, “Allow me to” + verb before you do something. For example, “Allow me to introduce my husband.” Here’s a video of Arnold Schwarzenegger using that construction in the movie Batman and Robin.

There are other meanings of allow.

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