I'm looking for a noun that means something dangerous, but it is still a necessary danger so you keep using it anyway.


  • A power-tool might be necessary for a mechanic, even though it could kill them.
  • Someone who is on powerful drugs might regret having to take them, but still take them, as the risk of addiction is better than the immense pain.

Sentence: "I don't want to use it, but the ___ might be our only/best option."

  • Probably "the risk might be our only option" would work. That or "It's dangerous, but we'll just have to risk that."
    – Robusto
    Dec 30 '19 at 3:05
  • 1
    While these are both two words, I think "necessary evil" or "lesser evil" fit. Dec 30 '19 at 19:12
  • 2
    Not a single word, but for the mechanic example, occupational hazard comes close. Dec 31 '19 at 8:00
  • "I don't want to use it, but it might be our least worst option."
    – Greybeard
    May 28 '20 at 22:07

I don't want to use it, but the necessary evil might be our only/best option.

(Cambridge definition)

  • Works great for the drug example, e.g. chemotherapy, but I certainly wouldn't call a power tool a necessary evil. For as much as I love my tools, they simply cannot all be works of the devil!
    – lumbrjak
    May 28 '20 at 22:30

If you're happy with a two word description. A "calculated risk" or even a "necessary risk" would be options.


There might be nothing that matches this exact meaning. But the closest I can think of is a double-edged sword.

From the notion that if two sides of the same blade are sharp, it cuts both ways.

(idiomatic) A benefit that is also a liability, or (a benefit) that carries some significant but not-so-obvious cost or risk.



Not sure, but -


: Absolutely necessary or requisite; that one cannot do without.


Therefore -

I don't want to use it, but the indispensability might be our only/best option.

  • Quick, hand me the indispensability! I'm seeing a lot of forcing of the right word into the wrong part of the sentence on this question.
    – lumbrjak
    May 28 '20 at 22:35

Jeopardy, perilious can be affixed with the pith of the sentence.

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