a chain is no stronger than its weakest link

1856 C. KINGSLEY Letter 1 Dec. (1877) II. 499 The devil is very busy, and no one knows better than he, that ‘nothing is stronger than its weakest part’.

1868 L. STEPHEN in Cornhill Mag. XVII. 295 A chain is no stronger than its weakest link; but if you show how admirably the last few are united..half the world will forget to test the security of the..parts which are kept out of sight.

1986 L. J. PETER Peter Pyramid ii. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link; and the longer the chain, the more weak links.


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  • weakness — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Lack of strength Nouns 1. weakness, feebleness, debility, debilitation, infirmity, decrepitude, inanition; weariness, enervation, impotence; paleness, colorlessness; disability, attenuation, senility,… …   English dictionary for students

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  • cooperation — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Working toward a common goal Nouns 1. (act of cooperating) cooperation, coadjuvancy, coadjutancy; co agency, coefficiency, concert, concurrence, participation, collaboration, coexistence; bipartisanship; …   English dictionary for students

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