Definition of Scylla in US English:


proper noun

Greek Mythology
  • A female sea monster who devoured sailors when they tried to navigate the narrow channel between her cave and the whirlpool Charybdis. In later legend Scylla was a dangerous rock, located on the Italian side of the Strait of Messina.


  • between Scylla and Charybdis

    • Used to refer to a situation involving two dangers in which an attempt to avoid one increases the risk from the other.

      • ‘Ah, the joys of being a late Boomer in middle-age, caught between Scylla and Charybdis.’
      • ‘Racing down the straight, under the railway bridge, knocking my shins against Scylla and Charybdis, I make it to the end.’
      • ‘So most US voters think things are going really well, when in fact the CPA is piloting between Scylla and Charybdis.’
      • ‘Sceptics about musical meaning tend to regard these alternatives under the sign of Scylla and Charybdis, as formidable dangers nearly impossible to avoid.’
      • ‘With software that asked voters to confirm their choices, the new machinery, it was thought, would avoid the Scylla and Charybdis of over-votes and under-votes.’