the line of least resistance


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.

the line of least resistance

The thing, option, or course of action that is easiest to do; that which avoids confrontation, difficulty, awkwardness, or tension. Let's not try to innovate this time—just take the line of least resistance so we can get the job done on time. You're never going to be respected by your boss if you choose the line of least resistance every time he asks you to do something you don't want to do.
See also: least, line, of, resistance

line of least resistance

the course of action that will cause least trouble or effort. Jane won't stand up for her rights. She always takes the line of least resistance. Joan never states her point of view. She takes the line of least resistance and agrees with everyone else.
See also: least, line, of, resistance

least resistance, line of

Also, path of least resistance. The easiest method, way, or course of action. For example, He tends to do what most people seem to want, taking the line of least resistance. This term employs resistance in the sense of "the physical opposition of one thing or force to another," a usage dating from the early 1600s. It has been used figuratively since about 1900.
See also: least, line, of

the line (or path) of least resistance

an option which avoids difficulty or unpleasantness; the easiest course of action.
See also: least, line, of, resistance

(choose, follow, take, etc.) the line of least reˈsistance

(to choose, etc.) the easiest way of doing something: You’ll never get anywhere in life if you always take the line of least resistance.
See also: least, line, of, resistance
References in periodicals archive ?
There is nothing in the world quite so comforting to our FC as sliding down the line of least resistance into the welcoming arms of the soft option.
'Putting 1p on employers' and employees' contributions would probably be the line of least resistance.'
The book's primary revelation was that the Queen had colluded with outgoing PM Harold Macmillan, top revent RA (''Rab'') Butler's succession as Prime Minister Pimlott claimed that the Queen,faced with Macmillan's determination not to allow Butler to succeed to the Premiership, took the line of least resistance,acting on Macmillan's recommendation that she should call on the Earl of Home.
Mr Hosking said: "I still think this could go ahead but I think people take the line of least resistance so big protests like this could sway the decision makers."
School boards and unions also take the line of least resistance by handing out more rights and less work rather than increasing teachers pay.
As the lava crept down the slope, its front hardened where it hit thick, glacier-filled valleys, forcing the lava to flow along the line of least resistance, usually the ridges between the valleys.
Writer-helmer also plays the lead role of Jonas, who, as is made clear in an opening photo montage, hasn't had much luck with women and always takes the line of least resistance when confronted with a problem.
If the curtain is disturbed and is made heavier at one end and thinner at the other, the air follows the line of least resistance and passes through the thin curtain area [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 5 OMITTED].