From Middle English allowen, alowen, a borrowing from Anglo-Norman allouer, alouer, from Medieval Latin allaudāre, present active infinitive of allaudō, merged with alouer, from Medieval Latin allocō ("to assign"). The similarity with Middle English alyfen (from Old English ālȳfan, ālīefan) and German erlauben, both from Proto-Germanic *uzlaubijaną is coincidental.
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