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

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

Insulating companies from the consequences of their actions, as exemplified by the bailouts and concessions following the 2008 financial crisis, undermines these incentives. WSJ, "Should the Government Require Companies to Meet Cybersecurity Standards for Critical Infrastructure?," 12 Nov. 2018 Here’s the response from the Google walkout organizers to the company’s concessions so far. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One easy thing Facebook should do in Myanmar," 10 Nov. 2018 Like many lodges in Namibia, Hoanib Valley Camp was developed on a conservancy in partnership with the local community, who lease concessions to the private sector. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Your Next Safari Should Be in Namibia," 6 Nov. 2018 Never mind the dizzying policy mechanics, this new policy being the solution to a problem created by the initial concession to the Freedom Caucus. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The 2 House Republicans who put it all on the line for Obamacare repeal could lose Tuesday," 5 Nov. 2018 Separately, Florida's governor recently sought a concession from the federal government to spare Florida from offshore oil drilling in federal waters, that is, in waters beyond the three-mile state waters limit. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "States will vote on these energy and environment issues in midterm elections," 4 Nov. 2018 According to ABC7’s Veronica Miracle, the concession booth even reopened to offer fans nachos, coffee, and ice cream while the two teams continued to bat it out. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers World Series Game Lasts Seven Hours," 27 Oct. 2018 Crises mean chance for negotiated concessions for North Korea. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Doesn’t Want a No-Fly Zone Over the Korean DMZ. Here’s Why.," 18 Oct. 2018 But the concessions in terms of designer presence ultimately didn’t matter, because the opulence of Crazy Rich Asians is not there for its own sake. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Crazy Rich Asians Made Its Wedding-on-a-Budget Look Like $40 Million," 6 Sep. 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

16 Nov 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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by force of circumstances

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