Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “trade-off”

trade-off

noun uk   /ˈtreɪd.ɒf/ us    /-ɑːf/
[C] a situation in which you balance two opposing situations or qualities: There is a trade-off between doing the job accurately and doing it quickly. She said that she'd had to make a trade-off between her job and her family. [C usually singular] a situation in which you accept something bad in order to have something good: For some car buyers, lack of space is an acceptable trade-off for a sporty design.
(Definition of trade-off from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of trade-off?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Accepting & agreeing reluctantly, but you might be interested in these topics from the Expressing agreement & support topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “trade-off” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hello stranger

said to a person that you know but have not seen for a long time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More