By its nature, link concordance is an equivalence relation. It is weaker than isotopy, and stronger than homotopy: isotopy implies concordance implies homotopy. A link is a slice link if it is concordant to the unlink.
A function of a link that is invariant under concordance is called a concordance invariant.
The linking number of any two components of a link is one of the most elementary concordance invariants. The signature of a knot is also a concordance invariant. A subtler concordance invariant are the Milnor invariants, and in fact all rational finite type concordance invariants are Milnor invariants and their products, though non-finite type concordance invariants exist.
One can analogously define concordance for any two submanifolds . In this case one considers two submanifolds concordant if there is a cobordism between them in i.e., if there is a manifold with boundary whose boundary consists of and
This higher-dimensional concordance is a relative form of cobordism – it requires two submanifolds to be not just abstractly cobordant, but "cobordant in N".