weak link

Also found in: Acronyms.

weak link

Someone or something considered inferior to the other parts of a group, series, or mechanism. The weak link in computer security is almost always the end user. Derek hardly ever comes to class, so I'm not surprised he was the weak link in our group project.
See also: link, weak

weak link (in the chain)

Fig. the weak point or person in a system or organization. Joan's hasty generalizations about the economy were definitely the weak link in her argument.
See also: link, weak

weak link

The least dependable member of a group, as in The shipping department, slow in getting out orders, is our weak link in customer service , or They're all very capable designers except for Ron, who is clearly the weak link. This expression alludes to the fragile portion of a chain, where it is most likely to break. [Mid-1800s]
See also: link, weak

a weak link


a weak link in the chain

COMMON If you describe someone or something as a weak link or a weak link in the chain, you mean that they are an unreliable part of a system or member of a group, and because of them the whole system or group may fail. It was automatically assumed that Edward would be the weak link in the partnership. Success comes from teamwork, and all it takes is one weak link in the chain to deny you the rewards of any amount of hard work. Note: People also say that someone or something is the weakest link if they are the most unreliable part of a system. He was the weakest link in the team's defence. Note: People sometimes say that a system is only as strong as its weakest link. A rail system is only as strong as its weakest link, as any commuter trapped behind a broken-down train can testify.
See also: link, weak
References in periodicals archive ?
Built back in the 1960s, the bridge has become a weak link in moving port cargo.
The weak link here is THURSDAY/THUNDERY with only 50% invariable.
According to the latest alert by anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab, the trusty Mac is "becoming the weak link in corporate security systems"
Two weak links may be lax about working things out, but their expectations are equally low--so there's less friction between them during bad times.
Lenin himself was inordinately fond of the image of the weak link, using it in at least four different ways, of which the best known was his historically confirmed contention that Russia was the weak link in the capitalist world, destined for Bolshevism.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, he also said countries like his "are being used as the weak link, if you like, of the eurozone.
FABIO CAPELLO insists Glen Johnson is not England's weak link - despite Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek claiming his side targeted the defender.
That weak link is getting some strengthening this month with a long- overdue voluntary program in which recycling bins will be provided if requested for apartment complexes, condos and other multifamily housing.
Now it appears that a 180-degree turn has taken place and we now have a weak link as head of the Anglican Communion.
Cargo screening a weak link in air security, report says.
If there's a weak link to the film, it's Foster, who's just not interesting enough to carry the story or to make us believe that Brewster's sexy Diamond would return her stolen loot just to win Amy's heart.
I don't feel like the weak link right now,'' Dallas McPherson said after hitting a two-run homer, a go-ahead RBI double and drawing a leadoff walk to spark a ninth-inning rally.
Firmly established as England's first choice and determined to prove he is not a weak link.
Even if only a weak link exists between panic disorder and suicide attempts, the disorder causes much distress and a substantially decreased quality of life among an estimated 1.
In approving the Sunrise/Greenpath project, the California ISO Board found it will lower costs for San Diego consumers and provide significant reliability benefits to San Diego, Imperial Valley and Southern California in general by bolstering a weak link in the transmission network.