proteanism

protean

[proh-tee-uhn, proh-tee-]
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; Prote(us) + -an

proteanism, noun

protean, protein.
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World English Dictionary
protean (prəʊˈtiːən, ˈprəʊtɪən)
 
adj
readily taking on various shapes or forms; variable
 
[C16: from Proteus]

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

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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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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