Win-win or lose-lose

  • Win-win is a term that first appeared in the United States during the 1960s. We will examine the definition of the word win-win, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


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    A win-win situation or outcome is one in which both parties receive some benefit. The idea in a win-win situation is that nobody loses. Win-win may also refer to a situation in which either outcome will be beneficial to the person in question, meaning that he can not lose. The expression win-win first appeared in the United States in the 1960s, and follows the form of the term no-win. It became a popular term in business during the 1980s, and has spread into mainstream English. Note that the term win-win is hyphenated.


    A lose-lose situation or outcome is one in which both parties will sustain a loss, or a situation in which either outcome will constitute a loss to a person in question. In a lose-lose situation there is no way to win. The term lose-lose is patterned after the expression win-win.


    Harper said: “It is a good win-win deal for Aberdeen as they will get a transfer fee and the services of a player who was going to be leaving at the end of the season anyway.” (The Aberdeen Evening Express)

    The move toward civil citations in Fairfield is not written in stone, but the city’s police department sees it as a potential win-win situation for the city and its residents. (Ottumwa Courier)

    “It’s a short-sighted, lose-lose decision,” Kevin Appleby, senior director of international migration policy for the Center for Migration Studies of New York, to America. (America Magazine)


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