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This page has 13 definitions of allowance in English. Allowance is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use allowance in a sentence are shown. Also define these 22 related words and terms: permission, grant, concede, admit, acknowledgment, reimbursement, abatement, deduction, tare, tret, horse racing, penalty, pocket money, deviation, fineness, weight, coin, approval, approbation, license, indulgence, and engineering.


Alternative forms


From Middle English allouance, from Old French alouance.

Morphologically allow +‎ -ance.



allowance (countable and uncountable, plural allowances)

  1. Permission; granting, conceding, or admitting
  2. Acknowledgment.
  3. An amount, portion, or share that is allotted or granted; a sum granted as a reimbursement, a bounty, or as appropriate for any purpose
    her meagre allowance of food or drink
    Being a volunteer is unpaid, but we get accommodation and a living allowance of 100 euros a week.
  4. Abatement; deduction; the taking into account of mitigating circumstances
    to make allowance for his naivety
  5. (commerce) A customary deduction from the gross weight of goods, differing by country.
    Tare and tret are examples of allowance.
  6. (horse racing) A permitted reduction in the weight that a racehorse must carry.
    Antonym: penalty
    On the Flat, an apprentice jockey starts with an allowance of 7 lb.
    • Horse Racing definition
      A sport where horses and their jockeys compete to race around a track the fastest.
  7. A child's allowance; pocket money.
    She gives her daughters each an allowance of thirty dollars a month.
  8. (minting) A permissible deviation in the fineness and weight of coins, owing to the difficulty in securing exact conformity to the standard prescribed by law.
    • Weight definition
      The force on an object due to the gravitational attraction between it and the Earth (or whatever astronomical object it is primarily influenced by). (1 of 22 weight definitions)
  9. (obsolete) Approval; approbation.
    • 1807, George Crabbe, The Parish Register
      [] gave allowance where he needed none
  10. (obsolete) License; indulgence.
    • 1695, John Locke, The Reasonableness of Christianity
      this Allowance for their Transgressions
  11. (engineering) A planned deviation between an exact dimension and a nominal or theoretical dimension.


Derived terms


  • Cebuano: alawans
  • Malay: élaun


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.


allowance (third-person singular simple present allowances, present participle allowancing, simple past and past participle allowanced)

  1. (transitive) To put upon a fixed allowance (especially of provisions and drink).
    The captain was obliged to allowance his crew.
  2. (transitive) To supply in a fixed and limited quantity.
    Our provisions were allowanced.