feet of clay

feet of clay
F f


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [feet uhv, ov kley]
    • /fit ʌv, ɒv kleɪ/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [feet uhv, ov kley]
    • /fit ʌv, ɒv kleɪ/

Definitions of feet of clay words

  • noun feet of clay 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. 1
  • noun feet of clay any unexpected or critical fault. 1
  • phrase feet of clay If you say that a person who is respected or admired has feet of clay or has clay feet, you mean that they have serious faults which you or other people did not know about before. 0
  • noun feet of clay a weakness that is not widely known 0
  • noun feet of clay a weakness or defect of character (in an otherwise strong person) 0
  • noun feet of clay (Idiomatic) In someone apparently strong and without failings, a hidden weakness which could cause his or her downfall. 0

Information block about the term

Origin of feet of clay

First appearance:

before 1855
One of the 30% newest English words
First recorded in 1855-60

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Feet of clay


feet of clay popularity

A pretty common term. Usually people know it’s meaning, but prefer to use a more spread out synonym. About 34% of English native speakers know the meaning and use word.
According to our data about 72% of words is more used. This is a rare but used term. It occurs in the pages of specialized literature and in the speech of educated people.

feet of clay usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for feet of clay

noun feet of clay

  • fault — a defect or imperfection; flaw; failing: a fault in the brakes; a fault in one's character.
  • flaw — Also called windflaw. a sudden, usually brief windstorm or gust of wind.
  • vice — any of various devices, usually having two jaws that may be brought together or separated by means of a screw, lever, or the like, used to hold an object firmly while work is being done on it.
  • weakness — the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, firmness, vigor, or the like; feebleness.

See also

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