Achilles' heel

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A·chil·les' heel

A seemingly small but actually crucial weakness.

[From Achilles' being vulnerable only in the heel.]

Achilles' heel

A weakness that may not seem important but is actually mortal. The ancient Greek hero Achilles was made invulnerable by being dipped in the river Styx as a child. His mother held him by the heel, which was not dipped, and it was a wound there that killed him.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Achilles' heel - a seemingly small but actual mortal weaknessAchilles' heel - a seemingly small but actual mortal weakness
soft spot, weak part, weak spot - a place of especial vulnerability
References in classic literature ?
Everyone has his Achilles' heel," continued Prince Andrew.
Our new study has identified a potential Achilles' heel in some forms of oesophageal cancer, which we believe could be exploited by new treatments.
He said: "When I was saying before about you gain some kind of strength from being in a band with family when everyone around you is a complete stranger, like I also said as time goes on that becomes your Achilles' heel because you know how to push each other's buttons.
NEWSBOY SAYS: Has the size for these fences and comes here after light campaign - two wins over hurdles and a 2nd (odds-on) at Kelso latest - but tired over 3m2f at Cheltenham last year and trip could be Achilles' heel.
It has long been our Achilles' heel that whilst we earn considerable wealth as a country, we give too much of it away in benefits to people rightly within our country and now increasingly anybody else from abroad who wants to get a free ride.
Corruption and organised crime, however, remain the Achilles' heel of Bulgaria's economy," he said.
I worry and wonder if we have built an Achilles' heel into the system.
The loop is "like an Achilles' heel," says Fernandez.
This traditional tape-based backup is the ILM solution's Achilles' heel when it comes to ROI.
While its benefits are arguably somewhat mythological, it has definitely become the Achilles' heel of male collegiate sports,
At a UK level the Achilles' heel, of course, is Iraq.