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A city of northeast Sicily, Italy, on the Strait of Messina, a channel separating Sicily from mainland Italy. Founded in the eighth century bc by Greek colonists, Messina was decimated by the plague in 1743 and suffered severe earthquakes in 1783 and 1908. The strait's rocks, currents, and whirlpools may have been the inspiration for the legend of Scylla and Charybdis.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Placename) a port in NE Sicily, on the Strait of Messina: colonized by Greeks around 730 bc; under Spanish rule (1282–1676 and 1678–1713); university (1549). Pop: 252 026 (2001)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. a seaport in NE Sicily. 270,546.
2. Strait of, a strait between Sicily and Italy. 2½ mi. (4 km) wide.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.