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protean

[proh-tee-uh n, proh-tee-] /ˈproʊ ti ən, proʊˈti-/
adjective
1.
readily assuming different forms or characters; extremely variable.
2.
changeable in shape or form, as an amoeba.
3.
(of an actor or actress) versatile; able to play many kinds of roles.
4.
(initial capital letter) of, pertaining to, or suggestive of Proteus.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; Prote(us) + -an
Related forms
proteanism, noun
Can be confused
protean, protein.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for proteanism

protean

/prəʊˈtiːən; ˈprəʊtɪən/
adjective
1.
readily taking on various shapes or forms; variable
Word Origin
C16: from Proteus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for proteanism
Protean
1598, from Gk. Proteus, sea god (son of Oceanus and Tethys) who could change his form; his name is lit. "first," from protos "first."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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proteanism in Medicine

protean pro·te·an (prō'tē-ən, prō-tē'-)
adj.
Readily taking on varied shapes, forms, or meanings.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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