American English

Definition of Achilles heel noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary


Achilles heel

NAmE//əˌkɪliz ˈhil//
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a weak point or fault in someone's character, which can be attacked by other people The desire for publicity became her Achilles heel. The enemy had an Achilles heel somewhere, if only he could find it. Named after the Greek hero Achilles. When he was a small child, his mother held him below the surface of the river Styx to protect him against any injury. 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 the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: Achilles heel