late 14c., "praise" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French aloance "allowance, granting, allocation," from alouer (see allow). Sense of "a sum alloted to meet expenses" is from c. 1400. In accounts, meaning "a sum placed to one's credit" is attested from 1520s. To make allowances is literally to add or deduct a sum from someone's account for some special circumstance. Figurative use of the phrase is attested from 1670s.
1. Most of our flights have a baggage allowance of 44lbs per passenger.
2. He lives on a single parent's allowance of £70 a week.
3. The personal allowance depends on your age and marital status.
4. The raw exam results make no allowance for social background.
5. He received a per diem allowance to cover his travel expenses.