I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but it's driving me insane!

There's a word that means "to settle for something instead of the best you could get" and I'm pretty sure it's two syllables and starts with "r".

In a sentence, you might say

"Since our budget is limited, we'll need to [word] and go for this cheaper alternative"

Can anyone help me? Save me from my misery!

  • 12
    Resort to [x]. Could be what you are looking for.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 17:44
  • 6
    Good on you for giving us the first letter and syllable count! Psycholinguistic studies show that when a word is on the tip of the speaker's tongue, they are overwhelmingly correct in their judgments about initial letter and syllables.
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 17:55
  • @Silenus ...or they're doing a crossword puzzle and giving us the hint for 6 across. ;) That was actually my initial impression of this question.
    – brichins
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 19:39

10 Answers 10


The sentence cited by OP:

Since our budget is limited, we'll need to [word] and go for this cheaper alternative.

The sentence could become:

Since our budget is limited, we'll need to resort to this cheaper alternative.

resort to something means to turn to something as an alternative that is not necessarily the one that is the absolute best.

Another example: The company never resorts to cheaper suppliers as they are unable to provide the quality it seeks.

  • 2
    Please edit this to explain why you think it is an appropriate word choice. Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 3:56

Consider resign, which means:

(without object) to submit; yield.

(transitive) to reconcile (oneself) to; yield:

This word has a slightly negative connotation. One settles, despite not wanting to.

Your sentence would be rendered:

"Since our budget is limited, we'll need to resign ourselves to this cheaper alternative."

  • 6
    Resign ourselves TO [some thing or verb]
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 17:47
  • @Lambie, resign does not always occur with to, as evidenced by the non-transitive definition I display, as well as sentences like "I've resigned." Plus, I already gave some examples of its transitive use with to.
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 18:27
  • 3
    @Silenus (comment) True, but your first two suggestions in your answer are unacceptable. Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 19:18
  • I think the nontransitive version has very different usage; it's the sort of thing you'd say at the end of a game of chess, not when you accept something less than you had hoped for.
    – user66219
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 20:38
  • Okay, after community pressure, I'll remove the non-transitive examples.
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 20:44

Could it be relent?

verb (used without object)

  1. to soften in feeling, temper, or determination; become more mild, compassionate, or forgiving.
  2. to become less severe; slacken:


Pete tries to convince Trudy that they ought to buy an apartment in the city; she refuses... [events unfold] Only then does Trudy relent, saying that he should get an apartment in Manhattan.

‘Mad Men’ Returns: A Recap of Season Five

  • 1
    None of the other answers fits the asker's example as perfectly as this one does.
    – talrnu
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 13:39

Revert means to return to a previous state or process.

Since our budget is limited, we'll need to revert to this cheaper alternative.

It has the sense of something that was tried, didn't work out, and was replaced by a known, less desirable, state. So, it could be seen as "settling for" an alternative.


You're looking for some synonym of 'compromise', 'concede' or 'reconsider'.

I mention these although they don't fit your criteria, because I'm personally always wrong when guessing what a tip-of-the-tongue word begins with (counter to Silenus' comment).

  • Silenus was being sarcastic. Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 8:36
  • @PeterTaylor - I don't think he was. A quick google gave me this paper, which states "It was demonstrated that while in the TOT state, and before recall occurred, Ss had knowledge of some of the letters in the missing word, the number of syllables in it, and the location of the primary stress."
    – AndyT
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 9:39

resigned (adjective)

"Since our budget was limited, we resigned to the fact we would need a cheaper alternative"



Roll Back

Could work in some narrow senses of settle for. Two syllable and consider definition 3 from Webster

syn rescind: attempt to roll back antipollution standards

Since our budget is limited, we'll need to roll back and go for this cheaper alternative"


I think "replace" suits what you're asking for. This way, your given example will be:

"Since our budget is limited, we'll need to replace (that/it) for this cheaper alternative."

  • "Replace" works. However, the word I am searching for has a slightly negative connotation, as though we're disappointed.
    – Mahkoe
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 17:36
  • Then I'd go for "Adjust". Yet it doesn't start with r, it kind of has the slight connotation you asked for.
    – Luke
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 17:49

It could be rest. For example - After a long debate, we settled on midnight blue curtains. After a long debate, we rested on midnight blue curtains.

Its been a long time since someone cleaned the tanks, as there is a lot of dust resting in bottom.

  • 1
    Welcome to ELU. Please add sources to your answer to substantiate it. You can have a look at the help center to find out about good answers.
    – Helmar
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 7:30

It's not as good as resign, but retire could work depending on the context.

I retired from my quest for fame and chose instead to live a simple life.

Unlike resign, the word retire implies that an exhaustive amount of effort had been expended prior to eventually "settling for" an alternative.

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