necessary evil Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “necessary evil” in the English Dictionary

"necessary evil" in British English

See all translations

necessary evilnoun [C]

uk   us  
something ​unpleasant that must be ​accepted in ​order to ​achieve a ​particularresult: I ​think he ​regardswork as a ​necessaryevil. Most Americans ​accepttaxes as a ​necessaryevil.
(Definition of necessary evil from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “necessary evil”
in Chinese (Simplified) 不想做但必须做的事, 不得不接受的事…
in Chinese (Traditional) 不想做但必須做的事, 不得不接受的事…
What is the pronunciation of necessary evil?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day


a large group of soldiers who form a part of an army, especially the ancient Roman army

Word of the Day

There is no such thing as a true synonym in English. Discuss!
There is no such thing as a true synonym in English. Discuss!
by Kate Woodford,
November 25, 2015
In the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary the word ‘synonym’ is defined as ‘a word or phrase that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or phrase in the same language’. As you might expect, definitions for this word are broadly similar in other dictionaries and yet the italicized

Read More 

conversational user interface noun
conversational user interface noun
November 30, 2015
a computer interface that provides information to users in normal, conversational speech in response to spoken requests Nearly every major tech company—from Amazon to Intel to Microsoft to Google—is chasing the sort of conversational user interface that Kaplan and his colleagues at PARC imagined decades ago.

Read More