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3 definitions found
 for Hydra
From 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,
     Water.]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire. --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Hence: A multifarious evil, or an evil having many
        sources; not to be overcome by a single effort.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. (Zool.) Any small fresh-water hydroid of the genus
        Hydra, usually found attached to sticks, stones, etc.,
        by a basal sucker.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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
           called hydras.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (Astron.) A southern constellation of great length lying
        southerly from Cancer, Leo, and Virgo.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  Hydra
      n 1: (Greek mythology) monster with nine heads; when struck off
           each head was replaced by two new ones; "Hydra was slain by
           Hercules"
      2: a long faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near
         the equator stretching between Virgo and Cancer [syn:
         Hydra, Snake]
      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

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  HYDRA, n.  A kind of animal that the ancients catalogued under many
  heads.
  

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