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Compromise vs. Concession: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 11, 2023
Compromise is a mutual agreement where each party gives up something, while concession is a one-sided act of yielding or granting something.

Key Differences

Compromise involves negotiation where both parties make concessions to reach a middle ground. Concession, however, is an act of yielding or giving in, often by one party to another.
In compromise, there's an element of mutual benefit and shared sacrifice. While, concession typically involves one party acquiescing to the demands or wishes of another.
Compromise is often viewed as a collaborative and positive resolution strategy. Whereas, concession can sometimes be seen as a sign of weakness or loss.
Compromise requires active participation and agreement from all involved parties. In contrast, a concession can be made unilaterally, without reciprocal action.
The outcome of a compromise is usually a new, agreed-upon solution. Meanwhile, with a concession, the outcome often favors one party's original position.

Comparison Chart

Nature of Action

Mutual and reciprocal
Often one-sided


Requires all parties to be involved
Can be made by a single party


Balanced solution, meeting halfway
Often favors one party's interests


Seen as cooperative and positive
Sometimes seen as a sign of weakness


To find a middle ground
To appease or satisfy another party

Compromise and Concession Definitions


A settlement of differences by mutual concessions.
Their compromise involved sharing responsibilities equally.


Something conceded in negotiations, discussions, or planning.
The company made a concession to the workers' demands.


The act of finding a middle ground between conflicting positions.
The committee's compromise resolved the long-standing issue.


An acknowledgment or admission in an argument.
Her concession to his point made the debate more balanced.


An intermediate state between conflicting alternatives reached by mutual concession.
The treaty was a compromise between the two countries.


The act of yielding or granting something.
His concession in the argument surprised everyone.


An agreement made by each side making concessions.
They reached a compromise by adjusting their schedules.


A privilege granted by a government or authority.
The local council offered a concession for the new business.


Adjusting one's demands or opinions to reach an agreement.
He made a compromise to maintain harmony in the team.


A special allowance or price reduction.
Students receive a concession on ticket prices.


A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.


The act of conceding.


The result of such a settlement.


Something, such as a point previously claimed in argument, that is later conceded.


Can a concession lead to a compromise?

Yes, concessions can be steps toward reaching a compromise.

Is compromise beneficial in all situations?

Generally, it is positive, but not always ideal if it compromises essential principles.

Is compromise always equal?

Not always; it aims for a balanced solution but doesn't guarantee equal concessions.

Does compromise always require sacrifice?

Typically, it involves some level of sacrifice or adjustment from all parties.

Is compromise a sign of weakness?

No, it's often seen as a constructive approach to resolving differences.

Can a concession be seen as a sign of strength?

Yes, when made strategically, it can be seen as a sign of understanding and flexibility.

Are concessions always explicit?

They can be explicit or implicit, depending on the context.

Can concessions be strategic in negotiations?

Yes, concessions can be used strategically to advance negotiations.

Does compromise always resolve conflict?

It aims to, but it depends on the willingness of parties to uphold their end.

Can a concession be retracted?

Generally, once given, concessions are not retracted, but this can depend on the context.

Are concessions always voluntary?

Mostly, but they can also be made under pressure or as a strategic move.

Are concessions a form of compromise?

Concessions are part of the compromise process but not a compromise in themselves.

Can a compromise be one-sided?

A true compromise requires input and concession from all sides.

Can compromise lead to better relationships?

Often, as it shows willingness to understand and work with others.

Is compromise always fair?

It aims for fairness, but perceptions of fairness can vary among parties.

Is compromise a quick process?

It can vary; sometimes it's quick, other times it requires lengthy negotiations.

Do concessions imply agreement?

Not always; they can be made for various reasons, not just agreement.

Can compromise be a goal in itself?

Yes, especially in situations where maintaining relationships is key.

Is a concession the same as surrender?

No, concessions are often part of a negotiation, while surrender is more absolute.

Is a concession a loss?

Not necessarily; it can be a pragmatic step towards a larger goal or harmony.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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