- 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 chameleonlike
Historical Examples of chameleonlike
And, chameleonlike, she took on the color of her gay surroundings.Superwomen
Albert Payson Terhune
- 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
Word Origin and History for chameleonlike
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).