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[kuh-rib-dis] /kəˈrɪb dɪs/
a whirlpool in the Strait of Messina off the NE coast of Sicily.
Modern name Galofalo, Garofalo.
Classical Mythology. a daughter of Gaea and Poseidon, a monster mentioned in Homer and later identified with the whirlpool Charybdis.
Compare Scylla (def 2).
Related forms
Charybdian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Charybdis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He passes the terrible coasts of the Sirens unhurt, and escaped the monsters Scylla and Charybdis by a series of narrow chances.

    The Adventures of Ulysses the Wanderer Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • All night long I was tossed on the waves, and at dawn I drew near to Charybdis.

  • The missionaries, however, seemed to be trying to stir between Scylla and Charybdis.

    The History of the Negro Church Carter Godwin Woodson
  • We, and the new faith with us, are between Scylla and Charybdis.

    Privy Seal Ford Madox Ford
  • Mr. Frankfort Moores best work is found in his latest story Priscilla and Charybdis.

    Paths of Judgement Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • But it is perhaps better for avoiding the Charybdis of literalness.

  • Then Antonio has so many rooms dependent on him, that every door is a Scylla, and every window a Charybdis, as he passes.

    To Cuba and Back Richard Henry Dana
  • To-day another steamer was chased by the "Charybdis" but she gave us the slip.

    The Red Watch J. A. Currie
  • The Scylla of calf-worship was incomparably less shameful than the Charybdis of these heathen abominations.

British Dictionary definitions for Charybdis


a ship-devouring monster in classical mythology, identified with a whirlpool off the north coast of Sicily, lying opposite Scylla on the Italian coast Compare Scylla
Derived Forms
Charybdian, adjective
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 Charybdis

whirlpool off the coast of Sicily, from Latinized form of Greek Kharybdis, of unknown origin. Cf. Scylla.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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