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[sil-uh] /ˈsɪl ə/
Modern name Scilla. a rock in the Strait of Messina off the S coast of Italy.
Classical Mythology. a sea nymph who was transformed into a sea monster: later identified with the rock Scylla.
Compare Charybdis (def 2).
between Scylla and Charybdis, between two equally perilous alternatives, neither of which can be passed without encountering and probably falling victim to the other. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Scylla
Historical Examples
  • What a fatality, that you have no better an option—either a Scylla or a Charybdis.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • What hath availed me Syrtes or Scylla, what desolate Charybdis?

  • Scylla could seldom visit the ranch, for she was an invalid.

  • "Oh, no; I'll stay here with Scylla to-night," she answered.

  • Scylla exclaimed to Martha as John fixed her on Texas's back.

  • She rode up close to Scylla and put her hand on Texas's neck.

  • "There is something the matter with him, I know," said Scylla.

  • Then, with great pains and trouble, she pulled and lifted Scylla into the saddle.

  • Scylla had heard the thunder of the approaching herd too, and was too frightened to speak.

  • Scylla was standing on her feet, for the first time in many years.

British Dictionary definitions for Scylla


(Greek myth) a sea nymph transformed into a sea monster believed to drown sailors navigating the Strait of Messina. She was identified with a rock off the Italian coast Compare Charybdis
between Scylla and Charybdis, in a predicament in which avoidance of either of two dangers means exposure to the other
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 Scylla

sea-monster in the Strait of Messina, from Latinized form of Greek Skylla, of unknown origin, perhaps related to skyllein "to tear."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with Scylla
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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