The forceful, unnatural manipulation of someone or something to fit a rigid set of conditions or requirements. In Greek mythology, the giant Procrustes would capture people and then stretch or cut off their limbs to make them fit into his bed. While in theory the idea of raising the minimum wage to a certain threshold for every business in the country seems like a positive, it is really a Procrustean solution that forces conformity to an impossible standard on many businesses that simply cannot afford to acquiesce.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Adjusting the facts to suit the situation. In Greek mythology, Procrustes (his name meant “stretcher”) lived in a roadside house in which he invited travelers for a meal and a night's rest. The guests stayed in a bed whose length, according to Procrustes, exactly matched anyone who slept in it. And it did—after the host stretched a smaller guest on a rack or chopped the legs off a taller guest until he fit the bed. This practice ended only when the hero Theseus killed Procrustes by giving him a dose of his own medicine. Someone who alters the facts by, for example, overestimating or underreporting data is said to offer a Procrustean solution.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price