- readily assuming different forms or characters; extremely variable.
- changeable in shape or form, as an amoeba.
- (of an actor or actress) versatile; able to play many kinds of roles.
- (initial capital letter) of, relating to, or suggestive of Proteus.
Origin of protean
Related Words for proteanmultifaceted, able, accomplished, adaptable, adroit, all-around, all-round, ambidextrous, conversant, dexterous, elastic, facile, functional, gifted, handy, ingenuous, many-sided, mobile, plastic, pliable
Examples from the Web for protean
Contemporary Examples of protean
There seemed a sense that his blackness alone lent him a protean kind of wisdom, power, promise—hope, we might recall.How Barack and Michelle Have Normalized Black Prominence
May 30, 2014
As you stare at the protean work, the massive, fake, ink landscape fools you.A New Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum Puts a Modern Face on Chinese Art
January 5, 2014
All language is protean, a moment-in-time snap-shot of evolution in action.How I Write: Paul Lynch
December 18, 2013
Yet how, in this age of protean trends and indecipherable jargon, are we to draw the line?When Not to Take a Selfie
December 11, 2013
Lupus is a protean disease that can cause inflammation in just about every part of the body, including the synovium.What’s Synovitis—and How Sick Will It Make Lady Gaga?
February 14, 2013
Historical Examples of protean
The Scottish ballads may scarce be so multitudinous and protean a host as this.The Balladists
They are more to be dreaded than the protean devil of which you speak.The Witch of Salem
John R. Musick
There is only one Mephistopheles; but he is protean in shape.
It is the magic water, the protean thing so full of light, laughter and music.In the Open
Stanton Davis Kirkham
The inner being is protean and has a thousand changes of apparel.William Sharp (Fiona Macleod)
Elizabeth A. Sharp
- readily taking on various shapes or forms; variable
Word Origin for protean
1590s, from Greek Proteus, sea god (son of Oceanus and Tethys) who could change his form; his name is literally "first," from protos "first" (see proto-).
- Readily taking on varied shapes, forms, or meanings.