con·​ces·​sion kən-ˈse-shən How to pronounce concession (audio)
plural concessions
: 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.
: the admitting of a point claimed in argument
: something conceded or granted:
: 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.
: a grant of land or property especially by a government in return for services or for a particular use
: a right to undertake and profit by a specified activity
a concession to drill for oil
: a lease of a portion of premises for a particular purpose
also : the portion leased or the activities carried on
: a small business or shop where things are sold in a public place (such as a sports stadium or theater)
The theater had real Raisinets at the concession, so I got some of those, too.Neal Fandek
… Billie's visiting with her father, and I'm standing alone at the concession stand, buying my butterless corn.Carrie Fisher
concessions plural : things sold at such a business
Spectators spend an average of $5 per game on concessions.Jack Gallagher
kən-ˈsesh-nəl How to pronounce concession (audio)
concessionary adjective

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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 in 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web But in a concession to how international the collecting community has grown, the retailer is offering ways for potential buyers to get more information about the watch, or even arrange for a private viewing. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 21 Nov. 2023 Adobe and Figma can now respond to the objections in writing to offer concessions that address the Commission’s precise regulatory concerns, and request a hearing, after which the Commission will decide whether the acquisition infringes on antitrust law. Jess Weatherbed, The Verge, 20 Nov. 2023 Zelensky is adamant that any territorial concessions would merely reward Russian military aggression. Emily Rauhala, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 Those concessions then dropped as far as 19.4% in July 2022. Wsj Pro, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2023 Finally, hardcore travelers can head to the Niassa Special Reserve, where Anderson Expeditions is resuming a life-changing seven-night adventure tracking wildlife (by foot, game drive, and canoe) within a private concession with one of the industry’s finest guides. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 15 Nov. 2023 Thus began today’s moral concessions, such as policies in New York, the birthplace of hip-hop, whereby politicians give preference to ex-con drug dealers for licenses to sell marijuana, a.k.a. Armond White, National Review, 15 Nov. 2023 With concessions on this part, SAG-AFTRA could’ve made gains on other negotiating points, like residuals. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Nov. 2023 The mix of successes and concessions with regard to AI has prompted some SAG members to voice their displeasure with the tentative contract. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'concession.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near concession

Cite this Entry

“Concession.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​ces·​sion kən-ˈsesh-ən How to pronounce concession (audio)
: the act or an instance of conceding
: something conceded or granted
: a special right or privilege given by an authority
a concession to sell souvenirs
a mining concession

Legal Definition


: an act or instance of conceding or yielding
: something conceded: as
: something granted especially as an inducement (as to enter into an agreement)
: a grant of real property especially by a government in return for services or for a particular use (as settlement)
: a right to undertake a specified activity for profit on another's real property
a logging concession
: 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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