Meaning of Scylla and Charybdis in English:

Scylla and Charybdis

Pronunciation /ˌsɪlə ənd kəˈrɪbdɪs/


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

    ‘the difficulty is to navigate between the Scylla of authoritarian taste and the Charybdis of slop’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So most US voters think things are going really well, when in fact the CPA is piloting between Scylla and Charybdis.’
    • ‘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.’