from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Tragic flaw.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The tragic flaw of the protagonist in a literary tragedy.
  • n. : sin

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall


Greek, from hamartanein, to miss the mark, err.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἁμαρτία (hamartia), meaning error or failure. From the verb ἁμαρτάνω hamartanō, "to miss the mark". (Wiktionary)


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