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Related to Proteus: Proteus syndrome, Proteus vulgaris


 (prō′tē-əs, -tyo͞os′)
n. Greek Mythology
A sea god who could change his shape at will.

[Latin Prōteus, from Greek.]


n. pl. pro·te·i (-tē-ī′)
Any of various gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria of the genus Proteus, certain species of which are associated with human enteritis and urinary tract infections.

[New Latin Prōteus, genus name, from Latin, Proteus (the variability in the size of individual cells displayed by members of the genus being likened to the god's shape-shifting powers); see Proteus.]


(Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a prophetic sea god capable of changing his shape at will


(ˈproʊ ti əs, -tyus)

1. an ancient Greek sea god, noted for his ability to assume different forms and for his prophetic powers.
2. a person or thing that readily changes appearance, character, principles, etc.
3. (l.c.) any of several rod-shaped, aerobic bacteria of the genus Proteus, sometimes found as pathogens in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts of humans.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Proteus - (Greek mythology) a prophetic god who served Poseidon; was capable of changing his shape at will
Greek mythology - the mythology of the ancient Greeks
2.Proteus - type genus of the Proteidae
amphibian genus - any genus of amphibians
olm, Proteus anguinus - European aquatic salamander with permanent external gills that lives in caves
References in classic literature ?
A FARMER of the Augustan age Perused in Virgil's golden page, The story of the secret won From Proteus by Cyrene's son How the dank sea-god sowed the swain Means to restore his hives again More briefly, how a slaughtered bull Breeds honey by the bellyful.
Est Carpathio Neptuni gurgite vates, Caeruleus Proteus,"
It was indeed the ancient abode of Proteus, the old shepherd of Neptune's flocks, now the Island of Scarpanto, situated between Rhodes and Crete.
We should have run clean out of provisions and my men would have starved, if a goddess had not taken pity upon me and saved me in the person of Idothea, daughter to Proteus, the old man of the sea, for she had taken a great fancy to me.
There is an old immortal who lives under the sea hereabouts and whose name is Proteus.
Thus spoke Proteus, and I was broken hearted as I heard him.
Stand before each of its tablets and say, 'Under this mask did my Proteus nature hide itself.
The philosophical perception of identity through endless mutations of form makes him know the Proteus.
In the tucutuco, which I believe never comes to the surface of the ground, the eye is rather larger, but often rendered blind and useless, though without apparently causing any inconvenience to the animal; no doubt Lamarck would have said that the tucutuco is now passing into the state of the Asphalax and Proteus.
and let no one slander Proteus and Thetis, neither let any one, either in tragedy or in any other kind of poetry, introduce Here disguised in the likeness of a priestess asking an alms
The place he found beyond expression bright, Compar'd with aught on Earth, Medal or Stone; Not all parts like, but all alike informd Which radiant light, as glowing Iron with fire; If mettal, part seemd Gold, part Silver cleer; If stone, Carbuncle most or Chrysolite, Rubie or Topaz, to the Twelve that shon In AARONS Brest-plate, and a stone besides Imagind rather oft then elsewhere seen, That stone, or like to that which here below Philosophers in vain so long have sought, In vain, though by thir powerful Art they binde Volatil HERMES, and call up unbound In various shapes old PROTEUS from the Sea, Draind through a Limbec to his Native forme.
The Proteus was flown in the vicinity of three aircraft--an F/A-18 jet and two prop airplanes to test the avoidance capability of the Skywatch system.