What does the idiom "Achilles heel" mean?

The phrase Achilles heel is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of Achilles heel.

Meaning of "Achilles heel"


The phrase "Achilles heel" is an idiom that refers to a hidden, usually weak, point or vulnerability that could ultimately lead to someone's downfall. It originates from Greek mythology, in which the hero Achilles was said to have been killed by an arrow to the heel, the only part of his body that was not protected by the magical armor given to him by the Greek gods.


The term originated from the Greek myth of Achilles. Achilles was an invulnerable warrior: legend has it that he was born with magical armor given to him by the gods as a protection from harm. According to the legend, Achilles was killed by a single arrow shot in his heel, the only uncovered part of his body due to his divine armor. The term "Achilles heel" refers to this moment in the narrative, the fatal wound that Achilles received in his heel.


The idiom “Achilles heel” is often used to describe any hidden weakness or vulnerability that could lead to someone’s downfall. It is used in everyday situations when one person might have a particular talent or strength, but also has a particular weakness that can be exploited to their disadvantage. For example, someone might have a great business plan, but be extremely poor at managing their finances, which could be their “Achilles heel”.

Example Sentences

  • Her Achilles heel was her lack of experience in the field, which eventually led to her downfall.
  • He had every advantage in life, but his Achilles heel was his inability to take criticism.
  • The company had a great product, but its Achilles heel was its poor customer service.
  • Their Achilles heel was the fact that they had no backup plan in case their initial strategy failed.

The meanings of the words in the "Achilles heel" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


No comment has been written about Achilles heel yet, you can write the first comment and share your thoughts with our other visitors.
Leave a Reply