\ ˈtrād-ˌȯf How to pronounce trade-off (audio) \

Definition of trade-off

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

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Other Words from trade-off

trade off transitive verb

First Known Use of trade-off

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for trade-off

Time Traveler

The first known use of trade-off was in 1909

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Cite this Entry

“Trade-off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of trade-off

: a situation in which you must choose between or balance two things that are opposite or cannot be had at the same time
US : something that you do not want but must accept in order to have something that you want

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