[ hah-mahr-tee-uh ]
/ ˌhɑ mɑrˈti ə /


Nearby words

  1. hamamelidaceous,
  2. hamamelis,
  3. haman,
  4. hamantasch,
  5. hamantash,
  6. hamartiology,
  7. hamartoblastoma,
  8. hamartoma,
  9. hamas,
  10. hamate

Origin of hamartia

1890–95; < Greek: a fault, equivalent to hamart- (base of hamartánein to err) + -ia -ia

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hamartia

  • 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


/ (həˈmɑːtɪə) /


literature the flaw in character which leads to the downfall of the protagonist in a tragedy

Word Origin for hamartia

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

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

Medicine definitions for hamartia


[ hä′mär-tēə, hə-märshē-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.