Meaning of Achilles heel in English:

Achilles heel

Pronunciation /əˈkɪliːzˌhiːl/

See synonyms for Achilles heel

Translate Achilles heel into Spanish


  • A weakness or vulnerable point.

    ‘the Achilles heel of the case for nuclear power remains the issue of the disposal of waste’
    • ‘This is my one weakness, my Achilles' heel, if you will.’
    • ‘It seems to me that we have come to accept death on Earth as part of our human flaw, as our Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘In the circumstances, worrying about being thought mad or humourless seems a peculiar Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘They hope the DNA sequence will identify weaknesses in the bacterium's genetic armour and possibly its Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘You can either deal with the weakness and make it stronger, or deny the weakness exists, and let it be your Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘That Ireland didn't suffer on the scoreboard was down to a lack of a killer instinct, which the visitors have previously shown to be something of an Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘Henry's mistrust of imagination is his Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘Sewers will remain the Achilles' heel of York's flood defences if environment chiefs fail to invest in the city's drainage system, according to a city leader.’
    • ‘That failure could be his Achilles' heel, for whenever he addresses environmental activist groups he offers platitudes, but little promise of action.’
    • ‘Despite being experienced enough to know not to underestimate his opponents, his overbearing confidence may prove his Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘But there's an Achilles' heel: the driver's seat tilts but doesn't fold, and so restricts access into the back.’
    • ‘I wondered at first how they always managed to catch us, and soon realized the balcony was our Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘Our greatest strength, our freedoms and rights, is also our Achilles' heel when we are confronted by an enemy that refuses to abide by the same rules.’
    • ‘Personally, I would say that the lack of an integrated keypad will be this computer's Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘Her movement, so much improved over the last two years, has now become an Achilles' heel once more and that may be the telling factor.’
    • ‘However, the narrowness of the debate has successfully kept attention away from their real Achilles' heel.’
    • ‘However, the proliferation of blogs and bloggers could represent the Achilles' heel in this approach.’
    • ‘The fiscal service has long been regarded as the Achilles' heel of the whole criminal justice system.’
    • ‘The concession of late goals has been their Achilles' heel over the last year or so.’
    • ‘So the narcissist does, after all, have an Achilles' heel - being blind to her own faults.’
    weak spot, weak point, weakness, vulnerable spot, soft underbelly, shortcoming, failing, imperfection, flaw, defect, deficiency, fault, foible, chink in one's armour
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Early 19th century alluding to the vulnerability of Achilles.