See more. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common. What does ACHILLES HEEL mean? The Achilles tendon or heel cord, also known as the calcaneal tendon, is a tendon at the back of the lower leg, and is the thickest in the human body. What has become a cliche in the English language is one of several modern-day phrases that are left to us from ancient Greek mythology. Tendons are avascular, so such an injury is unlikely to be fatal; however, the myth has the arrow poisoned with the blood of the Lernaean Hydra. singular noun [usually poss NOUN] Someone's Achilles heel is the weakest point in their character or nature, where it is easiest for other people to attack or criticize them. Achilles tendonitis causes pain and stiffness at the back of the leg, near the heel. DICTIONARY.COM Definition, Synonyms, Translations of Achilles heel by The Free Dictionary See the full definition for Achilles' heel in the English Language … How to say Achilles heel. CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW from the story that Achilles was vulnerable only in the heel, a chill/shiver runs up/down someone's spine. Listen to the audio pronunciation in the Cambridge English Dictionary. The strong tendon formed of the united tendons of the large muscles in the calf of the leg, an inserted into the bone of the heel; -- so called from the mythological account of Achilles being held by the heel when dipped in the River Styx. Achilles' tendon A*chil"les' ten"don ( ), n. [L. Achillis tendo.] When the hero Achilles was an infant, his sea-nymph mother dipped him into the river Styx to make him immortal. But since she held him by one heel, this spot did not touch the water and so remained mortal and vulnerable, and it was here that Achilles was eventually mortally wounded. [8] According to a myth arising later, his mother had dipped the infant Achilles in the river Styx, holding onto him by his heel, and he became invulnerable where the waters touched him—that is, everywhere except the areas of his heel that were covered by her thumb and forefinger. His mother held him by the heel, which was not dipped, and it was a wound there that killed him. Peleus, his father, discovered the treatment and was alarmed to see Thetis holding the baby in the flames, which offended him and made her leave the treatment incomplete. Achilles heel definition, a portion, spot, area, or the like, that is especially or solely vulnerable: His Achilles heel is his quick temper. The Achilles tendon is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus). Critical weakness which can lead to downfall in spite of overall strength, This article is about the phrase. Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? "[10][11] As an expression meaning "area of weakness, vulnerable spot," the use of "Achilles heel" dates only to 1840, with implied use in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Ireland, that vulnerable heel of the British Achilles!" “Achilles' heel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Achilles%27%20heel. Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). Although the legend is ancient, the phrase only entered English in the 19th century. Meaning of achilles heel. An Achilles heel[1][2] is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. Change your default dictionary to American English. Learn a new word every day. Achilles' heel. For the anatomical part, see, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Achilles heel | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary", "Achilles heel | Definition of Achilles heel by Lexico", http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0022%3Atext%3DEpitome%3Abook%3DE%3Achapter%3D5%3Asection%3D3, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Achilles%27_heel&oldid=995015173, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles that may contain original research from June 2019, All articles that may contain original research, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 19:12. Definition of Achilles' heel written for English Language Learners from the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary with audio pronunciations, usage examples, and count/noncount noun labels. Learn the definition of Achilles’ heel & other commonly used words, phrases, & idioms in the English language. How to Use Achilles’ heel Correctly – Grammarist Grammarist is a professional online English grammar dictionary, that provides a variety of grammatical tools, rules and tips in order to improve your grammar and to help you distinguish between commonly misspelled words. Definition of Achilles tendon : the strong tendon joining the muscles in the calf of the leg to the bone of the heel — called also Achilles First Known Use of Achilles tendon What made you want to look up Achilles' heel? Achilles tendonitis: Inflammation in the tendon of the calf muscle, where it attaches to the heel bone. How to pronounce Achilles heel. But the term Achilles' heel isn't used in medicine; instead, it's only used with the general meaning "weak point"—for instance, to refer to a section of a country's borders that aren't militarily protected, or to a Jeopardy contestant's ignorance in the Sports category. Learn more. The common phrase "Achilles' heel" refers to a surprising weakness or vulnerability in an otherwise strong or powerful person, a vulnerability that eventually leads to a downfall. Although the death of Achilles is predicted by Hector in Homer’s Iliad, it does not actually occur in the Iliad, but is described in later Greek and Roman poetry and drama[3] concerning events after the Iliad, later in the Trojan War. I'm trying to lose weight, but ice cream is my, the food supply proved to be the nation's, Post the Definition of Achilles' heel to Facebook, Share the Definition of Achilles' heel on Twitter, Words From 1921: 100 Years Old and Still Around, The Difference Between 'Libel' and 'Liable', 'Talented': That Vile and Barbarous Vocable. This is the British English definition of Achilles’ heel.View American English definition of Achilles’ heel. Achilles (uh-KILL-eez) tendon rupture is an injury that affects the back of your lower leg. In Greek mythology, the hero Achilles was killed after being struck in the heel—the only weak spot on his body. View the pronunciation for Achilles’ heel. Definition of ACHILLES HEEL in the Definitions.net dictionary. Information and translations of ACHILLES HEEL in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? Information and translations of achilles heel in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. The Achilles tendon is also called the calcaneal tendon. Horton's Achilles heel was that he could not delegate. Accessed 6 Jan. 2021. It mainly occurs in people playing recreational sports, but it can happen to anyone.The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. Achilles' heel. The large and prominent tendon of the gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris muscles of the calf is called the tendo achilleus or Achilles tendon. (noun) It has also proved, literally, to be the downfall of many athletes who have experienced the sudden pain of its rupture. An Achilles’ heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall. Thanks for visiting The Crossword Solver. Improper security measures were the failed company's Achilles' heel. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common. [7], Classical myths attribute Achilles' invulnerability to his mother Thetis having treated him with ambrosia and burned away his mortality in the hearth fire except on the heel, by which she held him. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. Definition of achilles heel in the Definitions.net dictionary. What does achilles-heel mean? In his widely used text Corporis Humani Anatomia he described the tendon's location and said that it was commonly called "the cord of Achilles. The ancient Greek hero Achilles was made invulnerable by being dipped in the river Styx as a child. Meaning of ACHILLES HEEL. English Language Learners Definition of Achilles' heel. The Achilles tendon is the very prominent and tough band of tissue that connects the heel bone (calcaneus) to the calf muscles. Your Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon … This area could also have been included in Thetis's grip. iz ˈhil / a weak point in a person or system that can result in its failure (Definition of Achilles heel from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press) Translations of … The name comes from Greek mythology: The hero Achilles was invulnerable to injury except for his heel, which proved his downfall when it was pierced by Paris's arrow. In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die young. Cite error: A … a seemingly small but actual mortal weakness ; Anagrams of Achilles' heel ACHILLES HEEL. Achilles tendinopathy can make it hard to walk and may stop you carrying on as normal. There will also be a list of synonyms for your answer. [9], The oldest-known written record of the tendon being named for Achilles is in 1693 by the Flemish/Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen. : a fault or weakness that causes or could cause someone or something to fail. See also: Achilles heel Achilles heel meaning, definition, examples, origin, synonyms See the full definition for Achilles' heel in the English Language Learners Dictionary, More from Merriam-Webster on Achilles' heel, Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for Achilles' heel. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx, which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into the water; however, as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Delivered to your inbox! What's the meaning of the phrase 'Achilles' heel'? A weakness or vulnerability that can lead to permanent destruction or downfall. This is commonly associated with the site of Achilles' death wound. (Anat.) Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles (uh-KILL-eez) tendon, the band of tissue that connects calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to your heel bone.Achilles tendinitis most commonly occurs in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs. from 1810 (Oxford English Dictionary).[12]. Synonyms: weakness, failing, lack, fault More Synonyms of Achilles heel Related to Achilles Heel: heel pain A specific vulnerability or weakness Molecular biology The terminus of a DNA helix is likened to an Achilles' heel, given its lability when it is not ‘capped’ by a telomere An Achilles' heel is a weak or vulnerable factor - especially one where all other components are strong. He was later killed by an arrow wound to the heel. ‘The fiscal service has long been regarded as the Achilles' heel of the whole criminal justice system.’ ‘The concession of late goals has been their Achilles' heel over the last year or so.’ ‘So the narcissist does, after all, have an Achilles' heel - being blind to her own faults.’ From the Greek hero Achilles, whom according to legend his mother held by the heel when she dipped him in the River Styx, making him invulnerable everywhere except on his heel. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, metaphorical references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common. Definition of Achilles' heel. Learn more! Definition and synonyms of Achilles’ heel from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Education. A seemingly small but actually crucial weakness. The enemy had an Achilles heel somewhere, if only he could find it. The term 'Achilles' heel' comes from the myth of Achilles, who was said to have been dipped into the river Styx by his mother Thetis in order to make him invulnerable. a weak point or fault in somebody’s character, which can be attacked by other people The desire for publicity became her Achilles heel. Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary. What's the origin of the phrase 'Achilles' heel'? Jump to navigation Jump to search. Today, the tendon that stretches up the calf from the heel is called the Achilles tendon. Just as it was for Achilles, this area is vulnerable for all of us, as many people suffer a rupture of this tendon during sports activities or exercise, especially after the age of 30. In the myths surrounding the war, Achilles was said to have died from a wound to his heel,[4][5] ankle,[6] or torso,[4] which was the result of an arrow—possibly poisoned—shot by Paris. ‘The fiscal service has long been regarded as the Achilles' heel of the whole criminal justice system.’ ‘The concession of late goals has been their Achilles' heel over the last year or so.’ ‘So the narcissist does, after all, have an Achilles' heel - being blind to her own faults.’ Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! We've listed any clues from our database that match your search. Achilles' heel; Etymology . A more likely anatomical basis for Achilles' death, assuming an unpoisoned dart, would have been an injury to his posterior tibial artery behind the medial malleolus, in between the tendons of the flexor digitorum longus and the posterior tibial vein. An Achilles heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. It may be caused by a specific injury that damages your Achilles tendon or can be caused by repeated small amounts of damage through overuse. A weakness that may not seem important but is actually mortal. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Achilles' Heel - something that you feel your'e not good at 191 were donated in September This month, we are on track to donate 197 home recent additions webmaster page banners feed a child Or vulnerable factor - especially one where all other components are strong or vulnerable factor - especially where. 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