Is there an idiom to replace 'tangential association'in this sentence ?

" She pictured this man, Jared, with the woman, Lisa, but failed to connect the two in any way but tangential association. "

Not really, what I'm looking for is the phrase that describes connecting two things without any 'normal' or objective, clear association


1 Answer 1


The phrase you may be looking for is

by association

which means there is an unspecified connection between two things, as in

He was guilty by association.

meaning he was guilty due to some unspecified involvement with whatever happened.

So, your sentence might be reworded as

She thought Jared was involved with Lisa by association.

meaning she thought they were in a relationship because they were together.

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