Achilles heel: Meaning, synonyms & origin + 9 example sentences

What does “Achilles heel” mean?

“Achilles heel” means an endangered point, defect, flaw or any deficiency in someone or something. The idiom has the connotative meaning of ‘weakness’ or a minor fault in someone’s personality. In other words, this idiom points the weakest point in human body which is regarded as the tendon on the back of one’s ankle.

9 examples of how to use “Achilles heel” in a sentence

  • All the soldiers are brave; they can fight, they can sacrifice their lives but one of their Achilles heel is their family.
  • I don’t have any Achilles heel in my personality; recently I have cleared my personality test and psychological test.
  • He was a good employ, but unpunctuality had always been his Achilles heel.
  • No one is perfect; everyone has Achilles heels in their personality, but one must work hard in order to be successful.
  • I love my wife; I can’t live without her but only Achilles heel in her is cooking, she can’t even boil an egg.
  • Our football team was strong as compared to the other teams; but our keeper was weak, and he could prove to be Achilles heel.
  • Though our teacher was an intelligent, highly qualified and experienced man; his teaching method was his Achilles heel.
  • Fear of cockroaches is the Achilles heel of every girl but Nida is a brave, smart and experienced in house chores.
  • Despite his Achilles heel, he got selected for the military but later his weakness became the reason of his early retirement.

 

The origin of “Achilles heel”

The origin of the idiom ‘Achilles heel” can be traced back to the Greek mythology. Achilles was a hero of the Trojan War, according to the Greek mythology; Achilles’ mother (Thetis) in order to make Achilles strong and impervious, she had immersed Achilles in to the river Styx. His mother carried him by his heels, which were the only parts of his body that were not submerged in the water. As a result, his shoes were the only part of his body that was vulnerable. Later, an arrow hit his heel and killed him.

The origin of the idiom related to Greek mythology and warrior Achilles is a quite older point from the history. The idiom was not in use within the English language until the Nineteenth century. In 1810, the phrase was noticed in “The Friend; a literary, moral and political weekly paper” an essay written by the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Synonyms for “Achilles heel”

Weakness, fault, vulnerability, weak spot, flaw, defect, deficiency, exposed, susceptible, unresistant, unprotected, unguarded, defenseless, helpless, openness, powerlessness,

Idioms related to “Achilles heel”

  • A weak moment
  • Bring it weak
  • A weak link
  • Have a weakness for
  • Fly in the ointment
  • Cold feet
  • Sitting on the fence
  • White feather
  • Go weak at the knees
  • Chink in ones armor