the lesser of two evils


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the lesser of two evils

The less offensive of two undesirable options. Both options are unpalatable, but the lesser of two evils, in this case, is selling the house. Polls show that the candidate is not well-liked, but is viewed as the lesser of two evils.
See also: evil, lesser, of, two

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.
See also: evil, lesser, of, two

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.
See also: evil, lesser, of, two

the lesser of two evils

or

the lesser evil

COMMON If you have to choose between two bad things, you can call the one which is less bad the lesser of two evils or the lesser evil. Should she choose life on the streets or the bad marriage? In the end it seemed the street was the lesser of two evils. In a continent where economic successes are rare, this sort of regime may seem a lesser evil than abject poverty.
See also: evil, lesser, of, two

the ˌlesser of two ˈevils

,

the ˌlesser ˈevil

the less unpleasant of two unpleasant choices: Neither candidate seemed capable of governing the country. People voted for him as the lesser of two evils.
See also: evil, lesser, of, two
References in periodicals archive ?
Therefore, while some taxpayers may not want to come forward and make a change in their LIFO calculation method that is unpalatable, others may view the risk of an IRS audit-imposed change (that could effectively include substantial give-backs of their prior years' LIFO tax benefits) as the lesser of two evils.
Now the best we can hope for is the lesser of two evils.
People are stuck voting for the lesser of two evils between John McCain and Barack Obama.
Now suck it up and vote for the lesser of two evils, because if you don't then the greater of two evils will win.
If people are faced with a choice between Lebanon limping along, or seeing a total collapse of national decision-making institutions, then extending Parliament's mandate is the lesser of two evils.
No sir, I only have the choice to vote for the lesser of two evils or simply abstain.
For this group the answer is a simple: Vote for the lesser of two evils.
But we know that doesn't usually happen in the world in which we inhabit and say what is the lesser of two evils - to let him have a soft landing and save the lives of as many people as we possibly can.
Redknapp, now at Spurs, said: "Going into administration is the lesser of two evils.
Fonseka may have been the lesser of two evils, but he was still an evil.
Speaking ahead of yesterday's vote, Liz Peace, chief executive of landlords' representative the BPF, said: "I think, in the end, the CVA will be considered the lesser of two evils.
Local Oxford Don is an earlypaced hazard but is drawn on Westmead Osprey's outside which is definitely the lesser of two evils and the selection can take command by the first bend with Salacres Chief, ex-Commander Chief, capable of chasing him home.
But Dominique Strauss-Kahn argued that more Government borrowing was the lesser of two evils during the economic downturn.
But if you can't, then you go for the lesser of two evils and ignore his girlfriends.
I WAS interested in the recent political letters under the headline Labour The Lesser Of Two Evils (09.