2. [syn: Hydra, Snake]
3. trouble that cannot be overcome by a single effort because of its many aspects or its persistent and pervasive quality;
- Example: "we may be facing a hydra that defies any easy solution"
4. small tubular solitary freshwater hydrozoan polyp;
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Hydra \Hy"dra\, n.; pl. E. Hydras, L. Hydr[ae]. [L. hydra,
Gr. "y`dra; akin to "y`dwr water. See Otter the animal,
1. (Class. Myth.) A serpent or monster in the lake or marsh
of Lerna, in the Peloponnesus, represented as having many
heads, one of which, when cut off, was immediately
succeeded by two others, unless the wound was cauterized.
It was slain by Hercules. Hence, a terrible monster.
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire. --Milton.
2. Hence: A multifarious evil, or an evil having many
sources; not to be overcome by a single effort.
3. (Zool.) Any small fresh-water hydroid of the genus
Hydra, usually found attached to sticks, stones, etc.,
by a basal sucker.
Note: The body is a simple tube, having a mouth at one
extremity, surrounded by a circle of tentacles with
which it captures its prey. Young hydras bud out from
the sides of the older ones, but soon become detached
and are then like their parent. Hydras are remarkable
for their power of repairing injuries; for if the body
be divided in pieces, each piece will grow into a
complete hydra, to which fact the name alludes. The
zooids or hydranths of marine hydroids are sometimes
4. (Astron.) A southern constellation of great length lying
southerly from Cancer, Leo, and Virgo.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: (Greek mythology) monster with nine heads; when struck off
each head was replaced by two new ones; "Hydra was slain by
2: a long faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near
the equator stretching between Virgo and Cancer [syn:
3: trouble that cannot be overcome by a single effort because of
its many aspects or its persistent and pervasive quality; "we
may be facing a hydra that defies any easy solution"
4: small tubular solitary freshwater hydrozoan polyp
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
HYDRA, n. A kind of animal that the ancients catalogued under many