the lesser evil

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lesser evil

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 evil 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 evil and tell the teacher you forgot it—maybe she'll take pity on you!
See also: evil, lesser

the lesser evil (or the lesser of two evils)

the less harmful or unpleasant of two bad choices or possibilities.
See also: evil, lesser