low-hanging fruit

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the fruit that grows low on a tree and is therefore easy to reach
a course of action that can be undertaken quickly and easily as part of a wider range of changes or solutions to a problemfirst pick the low-hanging fruit
a suitable company to buy as a straightforward investment opportunity
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Words nearby low-hanging fruit

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


What does low-hanging fruit mean?

Low-hanging fruit refers to a task that is easy to accomplish.

Low-hanging fruit can refer to actual fruit on trees that hangs from low branches, as in We let the kids pick the low-hanging fruit while we climbed the ladder to pick the ones higher up.

Most of the time, though, low-hanging fruit is used figuratively to mean a job that is easy to do or a goal that is easy to complete, as in Congress began the session by renaming the federal building after a national hero, a low-hanging fruit that received no opposition from anyone.

Low-hanging fruit is often used to compare a relatively easy task to a harder or more stressful task that also must be done. When you choose to do something easy, like making your bed, over something harder, like doing your homework, you can say you are “picking the low-hanging fruit.”

Example: The company saw an Asian expansion as low-hanging fruit because it wouldn’t face any competition in that market.

Where does low-hanging fruit come from?

The first records of the literal sense of low-hanging fruit come from 1859 in Adam Bede, a novel by George Eliot. The first records of the figurative sense of low-hanging fruit come from 1909, although it would begin to become especially popular during the 1980s. The figurative usage alludes to the fact that picking fruit from low branches is almost always much easier and faster than picking fruit from branches higher up.

The term low-hanging fruit is particularly common in the business world. It is often used to refer to such things as groups of customers that are easy to persuade or investors that are already interested in a business. A person or company that is going after the low-hanging fruit is focusing on easy tasks or goals first before worrying about difficult problems or goals that will take a lot of effort.

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How is low-hanging fruit used in real life?

Low-hanging fruit is a common phrase that refers to things that are easy to do.

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Is low-hanging fruit used correctly in the following sentence?

He is always looking for the easy way out so he will never miss the low-hanging fruit.

How to use low-hanging fruit in a sentence