There are 2 main definitions of hydra in English:

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hydra1

Syllabification: hy·dra
Pronunciation: /ˈhīdrə
 
/

noun

A minute freshwater coelenterate with a stalklike tubular body and a ring of tentacles around the mouth.
  • Genus Hydra, class Hydrozoa
Example sentences
  • The Phylum Cnidaria includes such diverse forms as jellyfish, hydra, sea anemones, and corals.
  • The same is true for hydra, a freshwater cnidarian.
  • There are some animals that don't belong to the Bilateria, though: members of the phylum Cnidaria, the jellyfish, hydra, sea anemones, and corals, which are typically radially symmetric.

Origin

via Latin from Greek hudra 'water snake' (see Hydra), named by Linnaeus because, if cut into pieces, each section can grow into a whole animal.

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There are 2 main definitions of hydra in English:

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Hydra2

Syllabification: Hy·dra
Pronunciation: /ˈhīdrə
 
/
1 Greek Mythology A many-headed snake whose heads grew again as they were cut off, killed by Hercules.
1.1 (as noun hydra) A thing that is hard to overcome or resist because of its pervasive or enduring quality or its many aspects.
Example sentences
  • Database scalability is a many-headed hydra that's hard to define, let alone tame.
  • Yet it appears that multi-headed hydra, our scientific research establishment, is pulling in more than 200 different directions.
  • We might have to strike back at some heads on this terrorist hydra, try not to slaughter innocents, and swallow the collateral damage.
2 Astronomy The largest constellation (the Water Snake or Sea Monster), said to represent the beast slain by Hercules. Its few bright stars are close to the celestial equator. Compare with Hydrus.
2.1 (as genitive Hydrae /ˈhīdrē/) Used with a preceding letter or numeral to designate a star in this constellation: the star Beta Hydrae

Origin

via Latin from Greek hudra.

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