of two evils choose the less

Cf. ARISTOTLE Nicomachean Ethics II. ix. 1109a κατὰ τὸν δεύτερον, φασί, πλοῦν τὰ ἐλάχιστα ληπτέον τῶν κακῶν, we must as a second-best course, it is said, take the least of the evils; CICERO De Officiis III. xxix. minima de malis, of evils choose the least.

c 1385 CHAUCER Troilus & Criseyde II. 470 Of harmes two, the lesse is for to chese.

c 1440 Gesta Romanorum (EETS) 10 Of too Evelis the lasse Evill is to be chosyn.

1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs I. v. B2 Of two yls, chose the least while choyse lyth in lot.

1785 J. BOSWELL Journal of Tour to Hebrides 464 ‘O ho! Sir, (said I), you are flying to me for refuge!’.. ‘It is of two evils choosing the least.’

1891 A. FORBES Barracks, Bivouacs & Battles 187 Either the Turks would make a prisoner of me..or I must..take my chance of the Russian fire... ‘Of two evils choose the less,’ says the wise proverb.

1975 J. PORTER Package Included Murder xiv. She didn’t want to wake dear Constance, who really needed all the sleep she could get, but if she didn’t..Miss Jones chose the lesser of two evils.


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • choose the less of two evils — pick the least bad option …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Lesser of two evils principle — The lesser of two evils principle, also known simply as the lesser evil, is the idea that of two bad choices, one isn t as bad as the other, and should be chosen over the one that is a greater threat. Some people consider the lesser of two evils… …   Wikipedia

  • lesser of two evils —    Something that is the lesser of two evils, is an unpleasant option, but not as bad as the other.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    If you choose the lesser of two evils, you opt for the less unpleasant of two poor options.     I didn t… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • two — see two blacks don’t make a white while two dogs are fighting for a bone, a third runs away with it two heads are better than one two is company, but three is none two of a trade never agree if two ride on a …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • choose — see never choose your women or your linen by candlelight of two evils choose the less …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • less — see less is more of two evils choose the less more haste, less speed …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • The Carmelite Order —     The Carmelite Order     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Carmelite Order     One of the mendicant orders.     Origin     The date of the foundation of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has been under discussion from the fourteenth century to …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • The United States of America —     The United States of America     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The United States of America     BOUNDARIES AND AREA     On the east the boundary is formed by the St. Croix River and an arbitrary line to the St. John, and on the north by the… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • The Problem with Popplers — Futurama episode Fry, Bender, and Leela discover the Popplers …   Wikipedia

  • The Legend of the Legendary Heroes — Cover of The Legend of the Legendary Heroes first volume as published by Fujimi Shobo 伝説の勇者の伝説 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.