Admit vs. Concede

What's the Difference?

Admit and concede are two verbs that share a similar meaning but are used in different contexts. Admit is often used when acknowledging or accepting the truth or existence of something, whether it is a fact, a mistake, or a wrongdoing. It implies a willingness to recognize and take responsibility for one's actions or the reality of a situation. On the other hand, concede is commonly used in the context of a debate, argument, or disagreement. It involves accepting or yielding to an opposing viewpoint or conceding a point to the other party. While both words involve accepting or acknowledging something, admit is more general and can be used in various situations, while concede is specifically used in the context of conceding a point in a debate or argument.


DefinitionTo allow someone to enter or be accepted into a place, group, or institution.To acknowledge or accept something as true, often reluctantly or with resignation.
UsageCommonly used in the context of granting admission or permission.Commonly used in the context of accepting defeat or acknowledging a point.
Positive ConnotationImplies a positive outcome or achievement.Implies a willingness to accept or compromise.
Negative ConnotationMay imply a sense of superiority or power imbalance.May imply giving up or surrendering.
EtymologyDerived from the Latin word "admittere" meaning "to allow entrance".Derived from the Latin word "concedere" meaning "to yield or give way".
SynonymsAccept, allow, grant, permit.Acknowledge, recognize, yield, surrender.
AntonymsReject, deny, refuse.Dispute, contest, resist.

Further Detail


When engaging in discussions or debates, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the words we use to express our thoughts and opinions. Two such words that often come up in these contexts are "admit" and "concede." While they may seem similar at first glance, a closer examination reveals distinct attributes that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the meanings, implications, and usage of both "admit" and "concede" to gain a comprehensive understanding of their similarities and differences.

Meaning and Usage of Admit

The word "admit" is commonly used to acknowledge or accept the truth or existence of something. It implies a willingness to recognize a fact, idea, or situation. When someone admits something, they are essentially confessing or granting the validity of a particular statement or claim. For example, if a person says, "I admit that I made a mistake," they are openly acknowledging their error without any reservations.

Furthermore, "admit" can also refer to granting someone access or permission to enter a place or participate in an activity. In this context, it implies allowing someone to be a part of something or giving them the opportunity to engage in a particular endeavor. For instance, a university may admit a student into their prestigious program based on their qualifications and achievements.

It is important to note that "admit" is often used in a formal or serious manner, emphasizing the significance of the acknowledgment being made. It carries a sense of responsibility and honesty, as it requires individuals to confront the truth or accept the consequences of their actions.

Meaning and Usage of Concede

On the other hand, "concede" is a word that signifies yielding or surrendering a point or argument. It involves accepting that one's position or viewpoint may be incorrect or less valid than that of another person. When someone concedes, they are essentially admitting defeat or acknowledging the superiority of an opposing stance. For example, in a debate, a participant might say, "I concede that your argument is more persuasive than mine."

Moreover, "concede" can also refer to granting or giving up something as a result of pressure or negotiation. It implies relinquishing control or ownership of a particular object, right, or privilege. For instance, in a legal context, one party may concede a certain claim to reach a settlement or compromise.

Unlike "admit," "concede" often carries a sense of humility or defeat. It is used when individuals recognize that they are unable to maintain their position or when they acknowledge the strength or validity of an opposing viewpoint. It is a word that encourages compromise and fosters a spirit of cooperation.

Implications and Nuances

While both "admit" and "concede" involve accepting or acknowledging something, they differ in their implications and nuances. "Admit" tends to focus on the truth or existence of a fact, while "concede" emphasizes the acceptance of an opposing viewpoint or the surrendering of a position.

When someone admits, they are often taking responsibility for their actions or acknowledging a mistake. It can be seen as an act of personal growth and maturity, as it requires individuals to confront the truth and face the consequences. On the other hand, when someone concedes, they are displaying humility and openness to alternative perspectives. It shows a willingness to let go of personal biases and consider the validity of other opinions.

Furthermore, "admit" is commonly used in situations where individuals have control over the outcome or decision. It implies a conscious choice to accept or acknowledge something. In contrast, "concede" is often used in situations where individuals are engaged in a debate or argument, and the outcome is determined by the strength of the opposing position.

Usage Examples

To further illustrate the differences between "admit" and "concede," let's explore some usage examples:

Examples of "Admit"

  • She finally admitted her mistake and apologized to her colleagues.
  • The company had to admit that their product was faulty and issued a recall.
  • He admitted his guilt and accepted the consequences of his actions.
  • After much deliberation, the government admitted that changes were necessary.
  • The professor admitted that he had overlooked an important aspect of the research.

Examples of "Concede"

  • Despite his initial resistance, he eventually conceded that his opponent had a valid point.
  • She conceded defeat and congratulated her rival on a well-deserved victory.
  • After a lengthy negotiation, the company conceded certain terms to reach a compromise.
  • He conceded that his approach was flawed and agreed to consider alternative solutions.
  • The politician conceded that his proposed policy had received significant criticism.


In conclusion, while "admit" and "concede" share similarities in terms of accepting or acknowledging something, they have distinct attributes that set them apart. "Admit" focuses on the truth or existence of a fact, often involving personal responsibility or the granting of access. On the other hand, "concede" emphasizes yielding or surrendering a point, acknowledging the strength or validity of an opposing viewpoint, or giving up something as a result of negotiation. Understanding the nuances of these words allows us to communicate more effectively and engage in meaningful discussions and debates.

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