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

Contract negotiations between United Steelworkers and ArcelorMittal got off to an uncertain start, with the union saying the international steelmaker is seeking major concessions despite the improved market and economy. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "NW Indiana steel contract talks start with sides far apart," 13 July 2018 The company's development team worked on the fresh pizza dough and sauce, but doesn't have a stake in the concession operation, Fallucca said. James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Laughing Taco, FreshFin Poke, Iron Grate BBQ and Palermo's-inspired pizza coming to Bucks arena," 12 July 2018 By June of that year, GOAL had won concessions from the NYPD and was permitted to march in uniform, to use the marching band and to host an event at NYPD headquarters. NBC News, "Police at Pride? Gay cops, LGBTQ activists struggle to see eye-to-eye," 23 June 2018 The latest round shows stiffening positions and Trump’s push to heighten downside risks in order to win more concessions in negotiations, according to Societe Generale SA economists Stephen Gallagher and Yao Wei. Jenny Leonard,, "White House split over hard-line stance on trade war with China," 22 June 2018 Get our daily newsletter Mr Grieve claimed to have won last-minute concessions. The Economist, "Theresa May heads off a rebellion," 21 June 2018 Others praised Hartford leaders for winning steep concessions from labor groups, for securing tens of millions in corporate donations and for keeping expenses in line with a five-year financial plan. Jenna Carlesso, Courant Community, "Oversight Board Approves Budget, End-Of-Year Subsidy For Hartford," 7 June 2018 The United States had sought use the tariff threat as cudgel to win concessions from Canada and Mexico in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Paul Wiseman,, "Trump takes aim at Canada as nations protest his tariffs," 1 June 2018 While teachers consistently won concessions from their lawmakers, these were generally funded with a combination of baselessly optimistic revenue projections and regressive tax hikes on the middle class. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Red-State Teachers Just Scored a Victory That Could Transform the GOP," 23 May 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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Statistics for concession

Last Updated

7 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

What made you want to look up concession? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

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