an/somebody's Achilles' heel

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Achilles' heel

A weakness or vulnerability that can lead to permanent destruction or downfall. In Greek mythology, the hero Achilles was killed after being struck in the heel—the only weak spot on his body. Improper security measures were the failed company's Achilles' heel. I'm a good student, but I know I won't score high enough on the scholarship test because math is my Achilles' heel.
See also: heel
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Achilles' heel

Fig. a weak point or fault in someone or something otherwise perfect or excellent. (From the legend of Greek hero Achilles, who had only one vulnerable part of his body, his heel; as an infant his mother had held him by one heel to dip him in the River Styx to make him invulnerable.) He was very brave, but fear of spiders was his Achilles' heel.
See also: heel
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Achilles' heel

A fatal weakness, a vulnerable area, as in This division, which is rarely profitable, is the company's Achilles' heel. The term alludes to the Greek legend about the heroic warrior Achilles whose mother tried to make him immortal by holding the infant by his heel and dipping him into the River Styx. Eventually he was killed by an arrow shot into his undipped heel. [c. 1800]
See also: heel
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

an/somebody’s Achilles’ ˈheel

a hidden weakness or fault in somebody which may be used to harm them: His pride proved to be his Achilles’ heel.This expression is named after the Greek hero Achilles. When he was a small child, his mother dipped him into the river Styx, which meant that he could not be injured. She held him by his heel, which therefore was not touched by the water. Achilles died after being wounded by an arrow in the heel.
See also: heel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

Achilles' heel

A vulnerable or weak spot. The term is derived from the Greek myth of the hero Achilles, whose mother held him by the heel while dipping him into the River Styx to make him immortal. He eventually was killed by an arrow shot into his heel. The term became a literary metaphor about two centuries ago and remains current as a cliché.
See also: heel
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

Achilles' heel

A vulnerable spot that leads to a downfall. According to Greek mythology, anyone who was immersed in the River Styx, which marked the boundary of the underworld, became invulnerable. Thetis dipped her young son Achilles in the river, but she held him by his heel. Because her hand covered that part of his body, the water did not touch it and it became his one vulnerable spot. Achilles, who grew to become a great warrior, died during the Trojan War when an arrow struck his heel. Even though it's located in the same part of the body, don't confuse “Achilles' heel” with “Achilles tendon,” which connects muscles in your lower leg to your heel bone.
See also: heel
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
What is their Achilles heel? Their scrum and attacking play.
Given that all our current antiretrovirals harbor the "Achilles heel" of resistance, our only hope for the long-term success of these drugs is that drug development will outpace the incidence of resistance.
Keane is likely to take over from Juan Sebastian Veron, who will be rested because of his troublesome Achilles heel injury.
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Stuart of Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs in Holmdel, N.J., has found a way to transform the Achilles heel of these so-called multimode fibers into a source of new strength.
While banks have taken giant strides returning to the business of lending money, the Achilles Heel in the banking industry may be higher interest rates.
The availability of such data and the integrity of their collection is the Achilles heel of such systems.
The use of reprocessed elastomer has had its proverbial Achilles Heel, that is, inconsistency of performance.
After two meetings, it's easy to say that Laoag is Air Force's Achilles heel.
Steve Bruce's only fear is his side's Achilles heel - complacency - will surface after Hull put one foot in the Championship Play-Off Final.
NOEL Gallagher has described teaming up with his brother Liam in Oasis as the band's "Achilles heel".
The scrum has been repeatedly exposed as the Wallabies' Achilles heel and coach Stuart Lancaster has outlined his aim of pressurising Michael Cheika's men in a department of the game that is a source of strength.
"That's very satisfying because it means we're working well to the shape, but our Achilles heel has been on set-plays.