- (often initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. a water or marsh serpent with nine heads, each of which, if cut off, grew back as two; Hercules killed this serpent by cauterizing the necks as he cut off the heads.
- any freshwater polyp of the genus Hydra and related genera, having a cylindrical body with a ring of tentacles surrounding the mouth, and usually living attached to rocks, plants, etc., but also capable of detaching and floating in the water.
- a persistent or many-sided problem that presents new obstacles as soon as one aspect is solved.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the Sea Serpent, a large southern constellation extending through 90° of the sky, being the longest of all constellations.
Origin of hydra
Examples from the Web for hydra
But this may be like the Hydra, where something new can grow in its place.The Folly of Banning Greece’s Neo-Nazi Party
October 5, 2013
Antifragile things, meanwhile, are strengthened by it—just as Hydra grows stronger and more multiheaded with every decapitation.A Manifesto for Disorder: Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s ‘Antifragile’ Reviewed
November 26, 2012
The gang is a hydra, he said, and Suffolk County has seen fluctuations in gang activity.Central American Gang MS-13 Cuts Swath of Murder and Mayhem Across Long Island
June 3, 2012
The diseases of a State are like the heads of a hydra; they multiply when they are cut off.The Republic
Slice off at a blow the head of this beast of rebellion, this hydra of heresy.The Historical Nights' Entertainment
The Crow is represented as standing on, and pecking at, the coils of Hydra.
Crater is situated at about the centre of Hydra and is on the meridian, April 26th.
Hydra is about 100° in length and reaches almost from Canis Minor to Libra.
- any solitary freshwater hydroid coelenterate of the genus Hydra, in which the body is a slender polyp with tentacles around the mouth
- a persistent trouble or evilthe hydra of the Irish problem
- Greek myth a monster with nine heads, each of which, when struck off, was replaced by two new ones
- a very long faint constellation lying mainly in the S hemisphere and extending from near Virgo to Cancer
Word Origin and History for hydra
1835, genus name of a freshwater polyp, from Greek Hydra, many-headed Lernaean water serpent slain by Hercules (this sense is attested in English from late 14c.), from hydor (genitive hydatos) "water" (see water (n.1)); related to Sanskrit udrah "aquatic animal" and Old English ottur "otter." Used figuratively for "any multiplicity of evils" [Johnson]. The fabulous beast's heads were said to grown back double when cut off, and the sea creature is said to be so called for its regenerative capabilities.
- See under hydroid.