Basic+ Word of the Day: allow

allow (verb) past tense: allowed LISTEN

You're not allowed to smoke here.

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

  • They allowed their daughter to go to the party.

If you allow someone to do something, it can also mean that someone does something bad, and you don’t stop them.

  • We can’t allow this war to continue.

If you are allowed to do something, it means that you can do it, because someone says that it is OK.

  • We’re not allowed to use Facebook at work.

Related words

An allowance is money that children get from their parents every week or month. For example, “He spends his allowance on video games.”

In pop culture

The Little Mermaid is a Disney movie about a mermaid who wants to be a human. Ariel likes to go up to the surface and watch humans, but her father thinks that it’s too dangerous. He tells her that she isn’t allowed to go to the surface any more, but Ariel doesn’t want to listen. In this video from the movie, Sebastian the crab uses a song to tell Ariel that life is better under the sea. Listen for these words in the song: “You dream about going up there / But that is a big mistake / Just look at the world around you / Right here on the ocean floor.”

There are other meanings of allow.
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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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