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Related to lesser: lesser omentum, to a lesser extent, Lesser of two evils, Lesser sac, Lesser Demon
choose the lesser of two evils
To pick the less offensive of two undesirable options. I wasn't excited about going to a seminar all weekend, but I also didn't want to lose my license, so I chose the lesser of two evils and spent the weekend learning about new regulations in our field. Do you really want to get a demerit for not having your blazer? Just choose the lesser of two evils and tell the teacher you forgot it—maybe she'll take pity on you!
lesser (of the two)
the smaller one (of two); the one having the lesser amount. The last two pieces of pie were not quite the same size, and I chose the lesser of the two. Faced with a basket containing too much and one with too little, Tom chose the lesser.
lesser of two evils
the less bad thing of a pair of bad things. I didn't like either politician, so I voted for the lesser of two evils. Given the options of going out with someone I don't like and staying home and watching a boring television program, I chose the lesser of the two evils and watched television.
the lesser of two evils
the less unpleasant of two choices, neither of which are good Sometimes I don't like either of the candidates, so I just try to choose the lesser of the two evils.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form a lesser evil: I don't like her, I just think of her as the lesser evil.
the lesser of two evilsalso a lesser evil
the less unpleasant of two choices, neither of which are good I suppose I regard the Democratic candidate as the lesser of two evils.
lesser of two evils
The somewhat less unpleasant of two poor choices. For example, I'd rather stay home and miss the picnic altogether than run into those nasty people-it's the lesser of two evils . This expression was already a proverb in ancient Greek and appeared in English by the late 1300s. Chaucer used it in Troilus and Cressida.