Mes·si·na (mĭ-sēnə, mĕ-)
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.