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chink in (one's)/the armor

A minor but very detrimental flaw or weakness. Yeah, he's brilliant, but his violent temper has destroyed many business relationships—it's a real chink in his armor. The criminal's tendency to use his own cell phone to conduct business was the chink in the armor the police needed to put him in jail.
See also: armor, chink

chink up

To fill in or patch narrow openings, such as cracks or fissures (chinks), of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "chink" and "up." We live in an area that experiences a lot of earthquakes each year, so we've gotten pretty good at chinking up the walls of our house.
See also: chink, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

chink in one's armor

Fig. a special weakness that provides a means for attacking or impressing someone otherwise invulnerable. (Alludes to an opening in a suit of armor that allows a weapon to penetrate.) Jane's insecurity is the chink in her armor. The boss seems mean, but the chink in his armor is that he is easily flattered.
See also: armor, chink
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

chink in one's armor

A vulnerable area, as in Putting things off to the last minute is the chink in Pat's armor and is bound to get her in trouble one day . This term relies on chink in the sense of "a crack or gap," a meaning dating from about 1400 and used figuratively since the mid-1600s.
See also: armor, chink
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.

a chink in someone's armour

If someone or something has a chink in their armour, they have a weakness that people can take advantage of, although they seem very strong and successful. Note: `Armour' is spelled `armor' in American English. With their superior knowledge, they might find the chinks in his armour. Labour leaders hope to use their annual conference to attack what they currently see as the most vulnerable chink in the government's armour. Note: A chink is a small hole or opening.
See also: armour, chink
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a chink in someone's armour

a weak point in someone's character, arguments, or ideas which makes them vulnerable to attack or criticism.
See also: armour, chink
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a chink in somebody’s ˈarmour

(British English) (American English a chink in somebody’s ˈarmor) a weakness in somebody’s argument, character, etc., that can be used in an attack: The one chink in her armour is the lack of a sense of humour. She hates people laughing at her.
A chink is a small hole.
See also: armour, chink
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

chink in one's armor, a

A vulnerable spot, a weakness. The term alludes to the medieval knight’s armor made of mail—interlinked rings of metal jointed at various points. When a crack, or chink, developed between the links or joints, he was less protected against a spear or arrow. The noun “chink” has been used figuratively for such a fissure since the 1600s, and the current term came soon afterward. See also Achilles' heel.
See also: chink
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
(7) What is it to believe that Chinese people are chinks?
But for perceiving what the machines serve up, we're still back to that 7-millimeter chink.
New Delhi, February 17 (ANI): A possible electoral alliance between Congress and regional heavyweight Samajwadi party brightened on Monday after chinks appeared in the relationship between the two last week.
The company has chosen to present the chinks in Tetra Prisma Aseptic 250ml cartons.
Doncaster enjoyed more possession in the second half, but found few chinks in the Bradford defence and the nearest they came to scoring was when Lee Fortune-West saw his shot hit the outside of the upright.
Gary Marshall, Stewart Gibson and Dann Bailey all found chinks in the Darlington defence to touch down tries.
If someone inside a company does a search from a Web browser or polls for e-mail, the requested information can come in, but if a cracker scans for chinks in your company's armor or tries to send in unsolicited codes, a hardware firewall blocks the attempts.
The other night my friend Sarah Silverman, a very funny comic who continues to simmer just under the boil of big stardom, used the word "chinks" on the Conan O'Brien show.
Allowing a mountaintop in Pocatello, Idaho, to continue to be dubbed "Chinks Peak" reeks of insensitivity, writes columnist Emil Guillermo in the July 26 Asian Week "I thought it was a joke," he notes.
The good news is that "chinks are starring to develop in its armor," especially in the areas of customer service, store size and cleanliness, attendees were told at the recent National Grocers Association convention in Dallas.
Traditionally, these were held around the smoking peat fires in crofters' "black houses" (no chimneys to carry away the thick peat smoke, which was allowed to seep out through chinks in the thatched roof).
On each side, bamboo walls in ochres and yellows, made by local artisans, allow air to circulate under the solid sheltering roof and let chinks and stripes of light criss-cross the polished concrete floor.
Often, like them, her message is amenable to patriarchal ideology, yet McKnight concludes: "The patriarchy of her discourse also has its chinks....
National Vice-President Gwen Landolt indicated that while the war against the family still continues, some chinks in the armour of the anti-life and anti-family forces are starting to appear.