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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the weak link

the point at which a system, sequence, or organization is most vulnerable; the least dependable element or member.
See also: link, weak
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the weak ˈlink (in the ˈchain)

the point at which a system or an organization is most likely to fail: She went straight for the one weak link in the chain of his argument.
See also: link, weak
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Dubai [UAE], Jan 20 ( ANI ): Australia's white-ball skipper Aaron Finch admitted that he was a "weak link" in the team that suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of India in their recently-concluded ODI series.
"A weak link anywhere in the supply chain can be costly for retailers," notes Ken Murphy, COO of IPT.
Change in pool composition that results in a stronger pool per the "Weak Link Plus" approach
WEAKNESS Sam Allardyce picked out defender Eliaquim Mangala as City's weak link
For Kickshaws, Jeremy Morse sent "two collections of dictionary words (lowercase, unhyphenated), each of which has one weak link which your readers may be able to repair."
The weak link on any flight has to be the passengers, so how do we combat this?
Steve McClaren's side still have faint hopes of automatic promotion but are likely to have to settle for a place in the play-offs, with their weak link being their away form, with just one point taken from a possible nine on the road in March.
If Match of the Day spot a weak link in your play, then you should start worrying.
In a separate speech at the conservative Hudson Institute, Abe defended Japan's military spending increases, adding that his nation will no longer be "weak link" in the world.
The solid line represents the L = 20 mm (fiber gauge length) distribution weak link scaled to L = 30 mm (fiber gauge length) using (11).
James May's Toy Stories: Flight Club, BBC Two, Sunday, December 23, 9.30pm| There was a time when some saw James May as the weak link in the Top Gear chain.
Though occasionally amusing, the film feels like an episode of Friends and, sadly, writer/director/star Westfeldt is the weak link as an actress, lacking the easy charm of her impressive co-stars.
However, that's no longer the case, according to the latest alert by anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab which yesterday warned the trusty Mac is "becoming the weak link in corporate security systems".
An injury crisis forced Alan Pardew to pick two full-back in the centre of defence and Norwich exploited the weak link to the full.
But in every chain there is a weak link and we found it.