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[hah-mahr-tee-uh] /ˌhɑ mɑrˈti ə/
Origin of hamartia
1890-95; < Greek: a fault, equivalent to hamart- (base of hamartánein to err) + -ia -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hamartia
Historical Examples
  • hamartia means originally a 'bad shot' or 'error', but is currently used for 'offence' or 'sin'.

    The Poetics Aristotle
  • That is not unmotived, however; it is of Aspatia's own choosing and of Amintor's hamartia.

    Francis Beaumont: Dramatist Charles Mills Gayley
  • The pathetic devotion of Aspatia is essential to our understanding of Amintor's tragic weakness, his hamartia.

    Francis Beaumont: Dramatist Charles Mills Gayley
British Dictionary definitions for hamartia


(literature) the flaw in character which leads to the downfall of the protagonist in a tragedy
Word Origin
C19: from Greek
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hamartia

Greek, literally "fault, failure, guilt," from hamartanein "to fail of one's purpose; to err, sin," originally "to miss the mark."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hamartia in Medicine

hamartia ha·mar·ti·a (hä'mär-tē'ə, hə-mär'shē-ə)
A developmental defect characterized by the abnormal arrangement or combination of tissues normally present in a specific area.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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