- 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.
- any of several American lizards capable of changing the color of the skin, especially Anolis carolinensis (American chameleon), of the southeastern U.S.
- a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.
- (initial capital letter) Astronomy. Chamaeleon.
Origin of chameleon
Examples from the Web for chameleonic
Contemporary Examples of chameleonic
Creators Robert and Michelle King have toyed with the audience here, creating in Kalinda a chameleonic character.‘Homeland’ and ‘The Good Wife’ Season Premieres: Review
September 27, 2012
- 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
- a changeable or fickle person
Word Origin for chameleon
mid-14c., camelion, from Old French caméléon, from Latin chamaeleon, from Greek khamaileon "the chameleon," from khamai "on the ground" (also "dwarf"), akin to chthon "earth" (see chthonic) + leon "lion" (see lion). Perhaps the large head-crest on some species was thought to resemble a lion's mane. The classical -h- was restored in English early 18c. Figurative sense of "variable person" is 1580s. It formerly was supposed to live on air (cf. "Hamlet" III.ii.98).