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feet of clay

noun
1.
a weakness or hidden flaw in the character of a greatly admired or respected person:
He was disillusioned to find that even Lincoln had feet of clay.
2.
any unexpected or critical fault.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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feet clay in Culture

feet of clay definition


People are said to have “feet of clay” if they are revealed to have a weakness or flaw that most people were unaware of: “When the coach was arrested for drunken driving, the students realized that their hero had feet of clay.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with feet clay

feet of clay

A failing or weakness in a person's character, as in The media are always looking for a popular idol's feet of clay. This expression comes from the Bible (Daniel 2:31–33), where the prophet interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a statue with a head of gold and feet of iron clay. [ c. 1600 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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