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Low-hanging fruit

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  • Low-hanging fruit is an idiom that has been popularized in business circles.  An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the meaning of the expression low-hanging fruit, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    Low-hanging fruit refers to the tasks, actions or goals that may be most easily achieved. The expression low-hanging fruit is used to describe an action that takes almost no effort. The idea comes from the very literal task of picking fruit off a tree. Low-hanging fruit does not require the harvester to climb the tree or to use a ladder, he simply reaches up and plucks the fruit with little physical effort. While the phrase low-hanging fruit was used in a literal sense and as a metaphor in many writings for hundreds of years, the use of the term as an idiom first occurred in the mid-1900s. It is a popular expression in business and marketing, especially in sales. Note that low-hanging is a hyphenated word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

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    Examples

    A Bangor University student was treated as “low-hanging fruit” by the Home Office when she was arrested and threatened with deportation, said a North Wales MP. (The Daily Post NOrth Wales)

    “There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit, of places that aren’t used, where we could put flowers back in the landscape,” she said. (The Herald Palladium)

    In the past, Valentine said he views the permitting of medical marijuana facilities as a sign city administration has given up on the community and is now going for the “low-hanging fruit” to spur new investment. (The Monroe Evening News)

     


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