chameleon

[kuh-mee-lee-uhn, -meel-yuhn]
noun
1.
any of numerous Old World lizards of the family Chamaeleontidae, characterized by the ability to change the color of their skin, very slow locomotion, and a projectile tongue.
2.
any of several American lizards capable of changing the color of the skin, especially Anolis carolinensis (American chameleon) of the southeastern U.S.
3.
a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.
4.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy, Chamaeleon.

Origin:
1300–50; variant of chamaeleon < Latin < Greek chamailéōn, equivalent to chamaí on the ground, dwarf (akin to humus) + léōn lion; replacing Middle English camelion < Middle French < Latin, as above

chameleonic [kuh-mee-lee-on-ik] , adjective
chameleonlike, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
chameleon (kəˈmiːlɪən)
 
n
1.  any lizard of the family Chamaeleontidae of Africa and Madagascar, having long slender legs, a prehensile tail and tongue, and the ability to change colour
2.  a changeable or fickle person
 
[C14: from Latin chamaeleon, from Greek khamaileōn, from khamai on the ground + leōnlion]
 
chameleonic
 
adj
 
cha'meleon-like
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

chameleon
mid-14c., from O.Fr. chaméléon, from L. chamaeleon, from Gk. khamaileon, from khamai "on the ground" (also "dwarf"), akin to chthon "earth" + leon "lion." Figurative sense of "variable person" is 1580s. It was formerly supposed to live on air (cf. "Hamlet" III.ii.98).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Chameleon definition


a species of lizard which has the faculty of changing the colour of its skin. It is ranked among the unclean animals in Lev. 11:30, where the Hebrew word so translated is _coah_ (R.V., "land crocodile"). In the same verse the Hebrew _tanshemeth_, rendered in Authorized Version "mole," is in Revised Version "chameleon," which is the correct rendering. This animal is very common in Egypt and in the Holy Land, especially in the Jordan valley.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Chameleon babies get out of their eggs without the help of their parents.
Another possibility is that, if genuine, this carving is of a chameleon.
When the chameleon at left got too close, the one at right got mad.
Researchers have recently discovered four new chameleon species, which rank
  among the world's tiniest reptiles.
Images for Chameleon
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