Necessary evil
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British pronunciation/nˈɛsəsəɹi ˈiːvəl/
American pronunciation/nˈɛsəsɚɹi ˈiːvəl/
Necessary evil
01

an unpleasant thing that requires acceptance in order for a certain thing to be achieved

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necessary evil definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "necessary evil" and when to use it?

The idiom "necessary evil" has its origins dating back to the early 16th century in the English language. It is used to describe something that is undesirable, unpleasant, or morally objectionable but is required in a given situation.

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Example
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Implementing strict security measures at airports is considered a necessary evil to ensure passenger safety.
In the world of business, some may view layoffs as a necessary evil when a company faces financial difficulties.
Some argue that surveillance in the interest of national security is a necessary evil in the modern world.
Many people see paying taxes as a necessary evil to fund essential public services.
For some, taking medication daily becomes a necessary evil to manage a chronic health condition.
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Definition & Meaning of "Necessary evil"
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