: a balancing of factors all of which are not attainable at the same time
the education versus experience trade-off which governs personnel practicesH. S. White
: a giving up of one thing in return for another : exchange
trade off transitive verb

Examples of trade-off in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For insurers, the tool came with trade-offs: lower payments but potentially more patient complaints. Chris Hamby, New York Times, 7 Apr. 2024 Long hours in exchange for a handsome salary is a common trade-off made by those in banking. Orianna Rosa Royle, Fortune Europe, 6 Apr. 2024 The main trade-off was discomfort during bouts of high-intensity exercise. Moderate- Or High-Intensity Exercise? With varying guidelines around heart rate zones and conflicting evidence on the potential benefits of training in each zone, exercisers may be left wondering what to do. Jason Sawyer, Discover Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 That trade-off, in addition to Nvidia’s efforts to glue its chips together with high-speed links, suggests that upgrades to other key components for AI supercomputers, like that proposed by Lightmatter, could become more important. Will Knight, WIRED, 4 Apr. 2024 However, there are some trade-offs to consider: Higher upfront cost: Laser printers tend to be more expensive than inkjet printers initially. Nilay Patel, The Verge, 2 Apr. 2024 The term now refers less to the exceptional material attributes of an object and more to its price point, which was a trade-off made to turn the business into a fabulously profitable global juggernaut. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 2 Apr. 2024 Impossible trade-off In exchange, people enrolling in hospice would have to forgo other kinds of care, such as seeing specialists or being admitted to a hospital. Maria J Silveira, The Conversation, 1 Apr. 2024 Those types of trade-offs, economists say, are likely to continue as households settle into new habits. Abha Bhattarai, Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of trade-off was in 1909

Dictionary Entries Near trade-off

Cite this Entry

“Trade-off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a balancing of things all of which cannot be had at the same time
: a giving up of one thing in return for another
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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