Definition of allowance in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈlaʊəns/


1The amount of something that is permitted, especially within a set of regulations or for a specified purpose: your baggage allowance
More example sentences
  • Of course on checking in my friend was told that he had excess baggage; the allowance was 27 Kilos and he had 37 Kilos - did he not check his ticket?
  • Space allowances should permit natural movement and exercise, and the environment should allow animals to perform instinctive behaviours, such as rooting by pigs.
  • The Weight Watchers diet gives slimmers a point system for food and drink, allowing them to eat what they like as long as it is within their daily allowance.
permitted amount/quantity, allocation, allotment, quota, share, ration, grant, limit, portion, helping, slice, lot
1.1British An amount of money that can be earned or received free of tax: a personal allowance
More example sentences
  • Everyone is entitled to a personal allowance - the amount you can earn before tax is due - from the day they are born.
  • Duty free allowances are to increase from £140 per person to £1,000.
  • Children all have their own personal allowances, which mean they can earn £4,385 a year before paying any tax.
concession, reduction, decrease, deduction, discount, weighting, rebate, refund, repayment
1.2 Horse Racing A deduction in the weight that a horse is required to carry in a race.
Example sentences
  • To help young jockeys get a foothold in the sport, those under 26 can claim a weight allowance in certain races (they are known as apprentice jockeys).
  • He is winless in seven starts since a pair of victories, a maiden special weight race and an allowance race, in February at Gulfstream Park.
  • She then suffered a bout with colic and did not race until returning in a seven-furlong allowance at Saratoga Race Course on August 23, which she won by six lengths.
2A sum of money paid regularly to a person to meet needs or expenses: the elderly receive a heating allowance every winter
More example sentences
  • It is likely that the IRS may find issues of concern in the area of taxable fringe benefits, particularly automobile allowances and relocation expenses.
  • My husband gives me an allowance for my own expenses.
  • Then figure out which items you will continue to be responsible for and which expenses you want the allowance to cover.
payment, pocket money, sum of money, remittance, contribution, consideration, handout, grant, subsidy, maintenance, financial support, subsistence, benefit, stipend, pension, annuity, keep, upkeep, expenses
2.1chiefly North American A small amount of money given regularly to a child by its parents.
Example sentences
  • Regardless of how much you give, it's a good idea to regularly disperse the allowance and increase the amount as the child gets older.
  • Since back to school time is rapidly approaching, here are answers to the four most common questions we get from parents about allowances.
  • For example, parents use allowances or dessert to encourage their children to make their beds or eat their dinners.
3 [mass noun] archaic Tolerance: the allowance of slavery in the South
More example sentences
  • But at least when I looked I couldn't find any allowance for the vastly greater economic value of the accretion of knowhow that is each generation's free gift to the next.
  • A planning application is invalid if there is no site notice, if it is not in place for five weeks or if it is not clearly legible from the public road, with some allowance for deliberate vandalising or removal of notices.
  • There needs to be a balance between control and the allowance of some flexibility within the market.


[with object] archaic
Give (someone) a sum of money as an allowance: I have made up my mind to allowance him
More example sentences
  • She spoke of getting travel allowanced but this depended on the social worker who had been assigned and they are not allowed leave their accommodation for more than three days.
  • The Contract Management System calculates reimbursement for managed care contracts and then calculates whether the payers paid correctly and whether the allowancing is correct.
  • You can go over your allowanced amounts, but you are expected to pay these overages directly to the supplier.


make allowance (s) for

1Take into consideration when planning something: the council has made no allowances for inflation
More example sentences
  • All home-care workers should be paid petrol costs and travel time between clients' homes, not just those workers lucky enough to work for providers who make allowance for that.
  • According to a report presented to the City council by Baskin, this figure includes shack settlements and makes allowance for 4,000 households to be relocated within the framework of the backyard shacks upgrading programme.
  • He did not always make appropriate deductions from anticipated profits to make allowance for these factors.
take into consideration, take into account, bear in mind, keep in mind, not lose sight of, have regard to, provide for, plan for, make plans for, foresee, anticipate, get ready for, cater for, allow for, make provision for, make preparations for, prepare for, accommodate, make concessions for;
bargain for, reckon with, remember
2Treat leniently on account of mitigating circumstances: she liked them and made allowances for their faults
More example sentences
  • So too the common law makes allowance for the difficulties in the circumstances in which professional judgments have to be made and acted upon.
  • You might say that it's a true history of the subject, making allowance for its brevity and its focus on Lincoln's contemporary rather than on Lincoln himself.
  • They now trade at the equivalent of roughly 14 times their 100p flotation price in July 1997, after making allowance for new share issues.
excuse, make excuses for, forgive, pardon, overlook, pass over, treat leniently, condone
rare remit


Late Middle English: from Old French alouance, from alouer (see allow).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: al¦low|ance

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