allow(redirected from allows)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to allows: copasetic, deemed
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
allow meand 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.
allow someone or something into a placeand 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.
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!
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.
*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.
allow for something
to consider particular facts that relate to something If you own stock, you must allow for the possibility that it will lose value.Related vocabulary: make allowances for somebody/something
allow/give somebody (a) free rein
to allow someone to do what they want or go where they want to (often + to do sth) The older kids were given free rein to do whatever they wanted. We shut the kitten out of the bedroom but allowed her free rein in the rest of the apartment.
allow/give something (a) free rein
if you give ideas or emotions free rein, you allow them to develop and do not try to control them With all these materials available, we can give our creativity free rein.
allow/give something full play
if something is given full play, it is used or developed as much as possible The themes of love and bereavement are given full play in Oliver's new novel. He urges that market forces should be allowed full play in the villages.
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.
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.
To offer or permit something as a possibility: The poem allows of several interpretations.