have feet of clay

have feet of clay

Fig. [for a strong person] to have a defect of character. All human beings have feet of clay. No one is perfect. Sally was popular and successful. She was nearly fifty before she learned that she, too, had feet of clay.
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have feet of clay

If someone who is admired or respected has feet of clay, they have serious faults or weaknesses which people generally do not know about. When those idols are found to have feet of clay the pain of disappointment can be profound. He's just another rock star with feet of clay. Note: You can also say that someone has clay feet. King writes endlessly about his subject's clay feet. Note: According to the Bible, King Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel to explain his dream of a giant idol, which was made of gold, silver, brass, and iron, but had feet made partly from clay. Daniel told the king that the clay feet were a sign of weakness and vulnerability. (Daniel 2:33)
See also: clay, feet, have, of

have feet of clay

have a fatal flaw in a character that is otherwise powerful or admirable.
This expression alludes to the biblical account of a magnificent statue seen in a dream by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. It was constructed from fine metals, all except for its feet which were made of clay; when these were smashed, the whole statue was brought down and destroyed. Daniel interprets this to signify a future kingdom that will be ‘partly strong, and partly broken’, and will eventually fall (Daniel 2:31–5).
See also: clay, feet, have, of