Achilles



the greatest Greek warrior in the Trojan War and hero of Homer’s Iliad. He killed Hector and was killed when Paris wounded him in the heel, his one vulnerable spot, with an arrow.
Contemporary Examples

Achilles had his Patroclus, Quixote his Sancho, Jesus his apostles.
Holy Homophobia, Batman! A Queer Reading of the Dark Knight Rich Goldstein July 25, 2014

As Taubmann puts it, “women, as everyone knows, are his Achilles’s heel.”
New DSK Book Tells of His Side of Diallo Affair, Prostitution Ring Tracy McNicoll December 1, 2011

Signatures will not be his Achilles heel—he knows well how the game is played in this city.
Rahm’s Rough Road Ahead John Conroy September 8, 2010

I jog until my Achilles tendons burn and replace meals with diet shakes that give me gas.
My Illegal, Flammable, Fabulous Hair Treatment Laura Bennett July 9, 2009

Alexander the Great fashioned himself after Achilles and very much identified with him.
Denis O’Hare Talks About One-Man Show “An Iliad” Janice Kaplan March 24, 2012

Historical Examples

Diomed was the Œtolian sun-god; Achilles was worshipped in Thessaly long before he became the hero of the tale of Troy.
Short Studies on Great Subjects James Anthony Froude

Another of her sons was Memnon, King of Æthiopia, who was slain by Achilles.
Harper’s Young People, August 10, 1880 Various

Long has the bright sword, that shone like a torch, been laid aside, and the brave courage of the dauntless Achilles been stopped.
Some Specimens of the Poetry of the Ancient Welsh Bards Evan Evans

Nolens Volens tries it by a process like “Achilles and the Tortoise.”
A Tangled Tale Lewis Carroll

When Achilles came rushing towards him, his heart failed; he ran three times round the walls of the city.
Authors of Greece T. W. Lumb

noun
(Greek myth) Greek hero, the son of Peleus and the sea goddess Thetis: in the Iliad the foremost of the Greek warriors at the siege of Troy. While he was a baby his mother plunged him into the river Styx making his body invulnerable except for the heel by which she held him. After slaying Hector, he was killed by Paris who wounded him in the heel

Greek hero of the Trojan War stories, son of Thetis and Peleus, his name is perhaps a compound of akhos “pain, grief” (see awe) + laos “the people, a people” (see lay (adj.)); or else it is from a pre-Greek language.
Achilles [(uh-kil-eez)]

In classical mythology, the greatest warrior on the Greek side in the Trojan War. When he was an infant, his mother tried to make him immortal by bathing him in a magical river, but the heel by which she held him remained vulnerable. During the Trojan War, he quarreled with the commander, Agamemnon, and in anger sulked in his tent. Eventually Achilles emerged to fight and killed the Trojan hero Hector, but he was wounded in the heel by an arrow and died shortly thereafter.

Note: People speak of an “Achilles’ heel” as the one weak or sore point in a person’s character.

Note: The Achilles tendon runs from the heel to the calf.

Note: Achilles is the hero of Homer’s Iliad.

Note: The phrase “wrath of Achilles” refers to the hero’s anger, which caused so much destruction that Homer refers to it as his main theme in the first line of the Iliad.

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  • Achilles bursa

    achilles bursa Achilles bursa A·chil·les bursa (ə-kĭl’ēz) n. The bursa between the Achilles tendon and the upper part of the posterior surface of the calcaneus.

  • Achilles heel

    a portion, spot, area, or the like, that is especially or solely vulnerable: His Achilles heel is his quick temper. Contemporary Examples Signatures will not be his Achilles heel—he knows well how the game is played in this city. Rahm’s Rough Road Ahead John Conroy September 8, 2010 But it also represents the Achilles heel […]



  • Achilles jerk

    a downward reflex action of the foot when the Achilles tendon is tapped, caused by contraction of the calf muscles.

  • Achilles reflex

    . Achilles reflex n. A reflex bending of the foot resulting from contraction of the calf muscles when the Achilles tendon is sharply struck. Also called Achilles jerk, Achilles tendon reflex, ankle reflex, triceps surae reflex.



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