con·ces·sion | \ kən-ˈse-shən \

Definition of concession 

1a : the act or an instance of conceding (as by granting something as a right, accepting something as true, or acknowledging defeat) The union will seek further concessions before accepting the contract.

b : the admitting of a point claimed in argument

2 : something conceded or granted:

a : acknowledgment, admission

b : something done or agreed to usually grudgingly in order to reach an agreement or improve a situation The ending of the movie was changed as a concession to the American audience's sensibilities.

c(1) : a grant of land or property especially by a government in return for services or for a particular use

(2) : a right to undertake and profit by a specified activity a concession to drill for oil

(3) : a lease of a portion of premises for a particular purpose also : the portion leased or the activities carried on

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Other words from concession

concessional \kən-ˈsesh-nəl, -ˈse-shə-nᵊl \ adjective
concessionary \kən-ˈse-shə-ˌner-ē \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for concession


acknowledgment (or acknowledgement), admission, avowal, confession


disavowal, nonadmission

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Meanings of concession

Concession carries two very distinct meanings in English. It is commonly used to indicate something that has been conceded (as when the politician who loses a race gives a concession speech, or when someone makes a concession in an argument). In a completely different context, the word maybe be found in the phrase concession stand. Where does this last use come from? Were concession stands originally set up to settle arguments or elections? Hardly. The concession in concession stand denotes “a usually exclusive right to undertake and profit by a specified activity.” The phrase is first recorded in a classified ad seeking someone to work at a booth at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Examples of concession in a Sentence

In the big pristine forests of the Congo Basin, governments are selling logging and mining concessions to get money … —Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2007 With him he carried a secret mandate from Prince Gauda, promising all sorts of concessions in Numidia once he was its king. —Colleen McCullough, The First Man in Rome, (1990) 1991 We sang exactly in the same range. There was never a concession that had to be made musically because our ranges were so totally compatible. —Rosemary Clooney, quoted by Joe Smith, Off the Record, 1988 As a concession to her debility she lay on an aluminum chaise longue … —John Updike, New Yorker, 23 May 1988 We are waiting for his concession of the election. The candidate made an emotional concession speech when it was clear that he had lost. The strikers have won some important concessions from the company.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That’s an average ticket price of $345, not counting parking or concessions, for what could very well be Burkina Faso-Uzbekistan. Mark Zeigler,, "The World Cup works fine with 32 teams, but FIFA is about to ruin it," 13 July 2018 His roles, as with many on the board, vary by the day but include concessions, field maintenance and coordinating travel. Rich Mayor,, "Jim Allen, Oak Park baseball volunteer, set to retire: 'His job is thankless'," 9 July 2018 But Boston Garden had a public falling out with a subcontractor, Millennial Entertainment, which ran vending booths and concessions, one of the main attractions of the seasonal festival. Milton J. Valencia,, "Boston Winter is canceled amid plans to renovate City Hall Plaza," 3 July 2018 However, Trump might be duped into unwise concessions, like a premature U.S. pullout that would betray Syrian Kurds and aid Iran. Trudy Rubin,, "Analysis: Trump gets his summit with Putin. Watch out! | Trudy Rubin," 27 June 2018 According to Roll Call, conservatives want one more concession: a new ban on letting Dreamers sponsor their parents for visas. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "House Republicans Still Stuck on Doomed Immigration Bill," 26 June 2018 After protests by Canady and Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, Cordish agreed to concessions, including conversion of the Midland office building to 100 apartments with low and moderately priced rents. Bill Turque, kansascity, "With misgivings, KC Council approves tax breaks for Three Light," 21 June 2018 By contrast, Trump agreed to several specific concessions, including a pause in joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises. NBC News, "Pompeo cancels Senate briefing on North Korea deal," 19 June 2018 There are also concessions, a small splash pad for the little ones, locker rooms, showers and lounge chairs on a landscaped deck. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "Things to do in and around Atlanta on Tuesday, June 5," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'concession.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of concession

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for concession

Middle English concessyon, from Anglo-French concessioun, from Latin concession-, concessio, from concedere to concede

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for concession

The first known use of concession was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for concession


con·ces·sion | \ kən-ˈse-shən \

Kids Definition of concession

1 : the act or an instance of giving up or admitting something a concession of defeat His one concession to the temperature was that we work indoors … —Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved

2 : something given up The employees won concessions from the company.

3 : a right to engage in business given by an authority a mining concession

4 : a small business where things are sold (as at a sports facility or public place)



Legal Definition of concession 

1 : an act or instance of conceding or yielding

2 : something conceded: as

a : acknowledgment, admission

b : something granted especially as an inducement (as to enter into an agreement)

c : a grant of real property especially by a government in return for services or for a particular use (as settlement)

d : a right to undertake a specified activity for profit on another's real property a logging concession

e : a lease that grants a right to engage in a profitable activity on another's real property also : the property or portion of the property subject to such a lease

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Comments on concession

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