What does the idiom "agree to disagree" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase agree to disagree, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression agree to disagree used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "agree to disagree"


The phrase 'Agree to Disagree' is used when two people cannot come to a resolution on a particular topic, or when they have different opinions on it. It is a way of acknowledging that a disagreement is inevitable and that there is no point in continuing to argue. In other words, it means to "accept and respect another person's opinion, even if you don't agree with it".


The phrase 'agree to disagree' originated in the early 14th century, with the phrase 'dissentire consensu'. In Latin, 'consensu' translates to 'with consent' and 'dissentire' means 'to disagree'. Over time, this phrase has evolved to the modern-day phrase 'agree to disagree', which has the same meaning but is much simpler to understand.


The phrase 'agree to disagree' is used in a variety of situations as a way to end a disagreement or accept that two people have different opinions. It can be used in interpersonal conversations, in politics, or even in the workplace. It is also a particularly useful tool for couples who are in conflict, as it can help them to move on and focus on other matters.

Example Sentences

  • "I think we should leave this issue for now and agree to disagree."
  • "We don't see eye to eye on this, so let's agree to disagree."
  • "We can't seem to reach a consensus, so let's just agree to disagree and move on."

The meanings of the words in the "agree to disagree" idiom

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


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