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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The apology was a rare concession for the president, who in the face of criticism is more apt to double down than to walk back his comments, and who often instructs aides to never apologize for their actions. Rebecca Ballhaus And Jenny Gross, WSJ, "Trump Affirms Support for May, U.K. Trade Deal Following Tensions Over Brexit," 13 July 2018 The announcement marked a successful use of the bully pulpit for Trump and a relatively rapid concession by one of the country's largest companies. Damian Paletta,, "Pfizer buckles under pressure from Trump, delays drug price increases," 11 July 2018 Nigel Farage, the global face of the Brexit campaign, had given Sky what sounded like a concession. Cam Simpson,, "Brexit’s Big Short: How Pollsters Helped Hedge Funds Beat the Crash," 25 June 2018 The owner of beach parcels near Deerfield's public beach brought in this 25-foot Airstream trailer to protest the city's refusal to give him a permit to run a beach concession. Anne Geggis,, "Deerfield takes action to keep its beach accessible," 20 June 2018 Critics decried the move as offering up front a major concession. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, "Pompeo says North Korea understands there will be 'in-depth verification'," 13 June 2018 But a concession of mysterious back injuries towards the end of the campaign has seen Özil receive similar criticism to that which was hurled in the direction of Alexis last year., "Arsenal Should Sell Mesut Ozil as Soon as Possible to End Lingering Reminder of Wenger Era," 26 May 2018 And in some areas the EU has an incentive to offer concessions. The Economist, "A new Brexit plan creates fresh depths of chaos," 12 July 2018 China might be more willing to offer real concessions on trade sooner to head off that possibility. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "When Will Trade Battles End? Watch Economies, Not Politicians," 11 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about concession

Share concession

Statistics for concession

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for concession

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!