Achilles' heel

This page is about the idiom Achilles' heel


An Achilles' heel is a weakness that could result in failure.

For example

  • He's a good golfer, but his Achilles' heel is his putting and it's often made him lose matches.

  • The country's dependence on imported oil could prove to be its Achilles' heel if prices keep on rising.

Origin: From the ancient Greek myth of Achilles whose mother made him invulnerable to attack by dipping him headfirst into a sacred river when he was a baby. She was holding him by one foot, and the heel of this foot wasn't touched by the water so it became his "weak point" later in life.

Quick Quiz

She's a good manager, but her Achilles' heel is

a. her good personality

b. her work experience

c. her poor English
a) her good personality b) her work experience c) her poor English

See Idiom of the Day today

Contributor: Matt Errey