Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.