Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Achilles' heel

noun

Simple Definition of Achilles' heel

  • : a fault or weakness that causes or could cause someone or something to fail

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of Achilles' heel

  1. :  a vulnerable point

Examples of achilles' heel in a sentence

  1. I'm trying to lose weight, but ice cream is my Achilles' heel.

  2. <the food supply proved to be the nation's Achilles' heel in its defense against terrorist attacks>



Origin and Etymology of achilles' heel

from the story that Achilles was vulnerable only in the heel


First Known Use: 1840


Learn More about achilles' heel


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up Achilles' heel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of striking ability or excellence

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

vernal estival hiemal brumal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ