from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Tucana and Mensa.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A winter constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble a small serpent. It lies between the constellations Mensa and Tucana. It is not to be confused with the constellation Hydra.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A constellation of the southern hemisphere, near the south pole.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A southern constellation introduced in the sixteenth century. It lies south of Eridanus, Horologium, and Reticulum, and contains three stars of the third magnitude.
  • n. A genus of venomous sea-snakes, type of a family Hydridæ: now disused, the genus being termed Hydrophis, and the family Hydrophidæ.
  • n. [lowercase] Some fabulous or undetermined water-snake.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a constellation in the southern hemisphere near the south celestial pole


Latin, from Greek hudros, water snake; see wed-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Named by Dutch explorers Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman between 1595 and 1597. From Latin hydrus, a "water serpent", originally from Ancient Greek Ύδρα (Hydra) (Wiktionary)



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