Meaning of feet of clay in English:

feet of clay


  • A fundamental flaw or weakness in a person otherwise revered.

    ‘Then I met him and I thought he was very much a man with feet of clay, which is very sad.’
    • ‘It was Solidarity's strength that showed - to those willing to see - that the Soviet colossus had feet of clay.’
    • ‘For, most of us like our heroes with feet of clay.’
    • ‘But I think - I saw it described once as realising your parents have feet of clay and then as you get older realising that you do as well.’
    • ‘That much is true but ultimately I think we read Durcan not because he is ‘a God’ but because, like the rest of us, he has feet of clay.’
    • ‘Samson was the Book of Judge's star performer and he had considerable feet of clay in keeping with this historical low point.’
    • ‘Political leaders have feet of clay and wallets wide.’
    • ‘Good or evil, it was an empire with feet of clay that shattered noisily with the Berlin Wall in 1989.’
    • ‘When you know people's feet of clay before they become idols it is difficult to reimagine them.’
    • ‘Our generation at least had had political heros who motivated us even though they were finally shown to have feet of clay.’


    With biblical allusion (Dan. 2:33) to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, in which a magnificent idol has feet ‘part of iron and part of clay’; Daniel interprets this to signify a future kingdom that will be ‘partly strong, and partly broken’, and will eventually fall.