allow

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allow nature to take its course

To let events develop and conclude naturally, i.e., as they would without outside intervention, help, or interference. The phrase can refer literally to nature or figuratively to manmade situations or events. Though I know people are eager to help those affected by the earthquake, unfortunately we have to allow nature to take its course before anything can be done. We've done as much preparation for the election as we can; we just have to allow nature to take her course tomorrow.
See also: allow, course, nature, take

allow for

1. To plan for or consider something in advance. I didn't allow for traffic this morning, and now, I'm going to be late. The flowers haven't bloomed because I didn't allow for such cold weather.
2. To have or portion an appropriate amount of something. I don't have any money to spare because I didn't allow for this sudden influx of bills when I made my monthly budget. I'm afraid we won't have enough food—I didn't allow for so many guests.
See also: allow

allow (one) free rein

To give one complete freedom to do what one wants or chooses. Can you believe the boss allowed me free rein on this project? Finally, I can present a campaign with my own vision!
See also: allow, free, rein

allow (something) full play

To develop something completely. That's a good concept, and I think we should allow it full play in our new ad campaign.
See also: allow, full, play

allow (someone or something) in(to)

To permit entry. The club allowed me into their meeting. The garage is so crowded that the attendants wouldn't allow my car in.
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allow me

Let me do it. This is a set phrase that typically precedes a polite action or gesture. "Allow me," my date said before opening my car door. Allow me—I'll open the wine bottle.
See also: allow

allow (one) up

To let someone rise from a prone position. If you're able to knock down your opponent, don't allow him up!
See also: allow, up

allow for someone or something

 
1. to plan on having enough of something (such as food, space, etc.) for someone. Mary is bringing Bill on the picnic, so be sure to allow for him when buying the food. Allow for an extra person when setting the table tonight.
2. to plan on the possibility of something. Allow for a few rainy days on your vacation. Be sure to allow for future growth when you plant the rosebushes.
See also: allow

allow me

 and permit me
Please let me help you. (*Typically said by someone politely assisting another person, as by opening a door or providing some personal service. In Allow me, the stress is usually on me. In Permit me, the stress is usually on -mit.) Tom and Jane approached the door. "Allow me," said Tom, grabbing the doorknob. "Permit me," said Fred, pulling out a gold-plated lighter and lighting Jane's cigarette.
See also: allow

allow someone or something into a place

 and allow someone or something in
to permit someone or something to enter some place. Will they allow you in the restaurant without a tie? They won't allow in too many visitors.
See also: allow, place

allow someone up

(from something) to permit someone to arise or get up. (Fixed phrase.) He knocked Peter down and would not allow him up from the ground. The doctor won't allow you up!
See also: allow, up

allow something for something

 
1. to allocate a share or a suitable amount of something, such as time, money, space, etc., for some activity or goal. I allowed only an hour for lunch. They did not allow enough money for their expenditures this month.
2. to give consideration to circumstances or contingencies. We allowed room for expansion when we designed the building. Allowing for his youth and lack of experience, I forgave him completely for his oversight.
See also: allow

*some elbow room

Fig. room to move about in; extra space to move about in. (*Typically: allow ~; get ~; have ~; give someone ~; need ~.) This table is too crowded. We all need some elbow room.
See also: elbow, room

allow for

Leave room for, permit, as in We have enough chairs to allow for forty extra guests, or Our denomination allows for a large variety of beliefs. [Early 1700s] Also see make allowance.
See also: allow

allow ˈme

(spoken) used to offer help politely: ‘I’ll just take these bags upstairs.’ ‘Allow me.’
See also: allow

give/allow somebody/something free/full ˈrein

,

give/allow free/full ˈrein to somebody/something

not restrict, limit or control something: In a novel the author need not keep to the facts, but a textbook is not the place to give free rein to your imagination. OPPOSITE: keep a tight rein on somebody/something
A rein is a long leather band that is fastened around a horse’s neck and used by the rider to control the speed of the horse.

allow for

v.
1. To make some provision for something: The schedule allows time for a coffee break. The design of the building allows for an addition to be built at a later time.
2. To take some possibility into account: I allowed for the possibility of rain by setting up a big tent at the picnic. The shipping company has to allow for some breakage of the products it ships to the stores.
See also: allow

allow of

v.
To offer or permit something as a possibility: The poem allows of several interpretations.
See also: allow, of
References in classic literature ?
Three holes, protected by thick glass, allowed us to see in all directions, by simply turning our head in the interior of the head-dress.
That is a first sin, father; for I have allowed myself made to descend from two old Roman consuls, S.
Sea-otter at twelve dollars, worth from forty-five to sixty dollars; and for several kinds of furs nothing was allowed.
To his intense astonishment the mongoose allowed her to pet him, take him up in her arms and fondle him.
They removed his shirt and doublet as far as his girdle; he allowed them to have their way.
and his wife, if affairs allowed of it; the general was to stay at home.
Having been taken prisoner and allowed his beard to grow, he seemed to have thrown off all that had been forced upon him- everything military and alien to himself- and had returned to his former peasant habits.
The Wizard then blew a bunch of small bubbles and afterward blew a big bubble around them so they were left in the center of it; then he allowed the whole mass of pretty globes to float into the air and disappear in the far distant sky.
His wife and children, whom he dearly loved, were allowed to come to live beside him.
All that he is allowed except one," answered the King.
Then persons of worth, even if only mortal men, must not be represented as overcome by laughter, and still less must such a representation of the gods be allowed.
When he was thoroughly disgusted with every kind of wine, I allowed him, at his own request, to try brandy-and-water, and then gin-and-water, for the little toper was familiar with them all, and I was determined that all should be equally hateful to him.
This claim, however, I desire to be allowed me only on condition that I preserve strict honesty towards my poor brethren, from whom, if ever I borrow any of that little of which they are possessed, I shall never fail to put their mark upon it, that it may be at all times ready to be restored to the right owner.
I begged to nurse her, I wasn't allowed to, and now I'm blamed for it.
Felix rejected his offers with contempt, yet when he saw the lovely Safie, who was allowed to visit her father and who by her gestures expressed her lively gratitude, the youth could not help owning to his own mind that the captive possessed a treasure which would fully reward his toil and hazard.