necessary evilnecessary evil
something undesirable that nevertheless must be tolerated in order to attain a desired end
(plural necessary evils)
- (idiomatic) An unfavorable thing that must be done or accepted, especially because the available alternative courses of action or inaction would be worse.
- Another punishing round of chemo is a necessary evil if Lisa is to have a fighting chance against the cancer.
- My boss is a real piece of work, but my kids make keeping this job a necessary evil.