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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
In a social system, defining a weak link is far from trivial (Makany, 2006).
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.
After improving one weak link, the next weak link then is found and improved and so on until there are no weak links left that would cause field failures or increase the costs of HASS.
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.
Nevertheless, Brazil has long been considered a weak link in the global shipping chain in terms of security, and some here say the new code is past due.
If chemical security is the weak link in homeland security, says Rick Hind, legislative director for the Greenpeace Toxics Campaign, "railroad shipping is the weak link within that.
While most facilities have excellent power backup systems in place, fire batteries powering those systems are often a startlingly weak link that can render the system inoperable, he said.
For many runners, it is often a weak link that emerges as training increases.