Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Variant of Chamaeleon.
1. Any of various tropical lizards of the family Chamaeleonidae, chiefly of Africa and Madagascar, having a prehensile tail, eyes that can move independently, and the ability to change color.
2. An anole lizard, especially Anolis carolinensis of the southeast United States.
3. A changeable or inconstant person: "In his testimony, the nominee came off as ... a chameleon of legal philosophy" (Joseph A. Califano, Jr.).
[Middle English camelioun, from Latin chamaeleōn, from Greek khamaileōn : khamai, on the ground; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots + leōn, lion (translation of Akkadian nēš qaqqari, ground lion, lizard : Akkadian nēšu, lion + Akkadian qaqqari, genitive of qaqqaru, the earth, ground); see lion.]
cha·me′le·on′ic (-lē-ŏn′ĭk) adj.
Word History: The words referring to the animal chameleon and the plant chamomile are related etymologically by a reference to the place one would expect to find them, that is, on the ground. The first part of both words goes back to the Greek form khamai, meaning "on the ground." What is found on the ground in each case is quite different, of course. The khamaileōn is a "lion (leōn) on the ground," a term translating the phrase nēš qaqqari, "chameleon" in Akkadian, the Semitic language spoken in ancient Mesopotamia. The khamaimēlon is "an apple (mēlon) on the ground," so named because the blossoms of at least one species of the plants called chamomile have an applelike scent. Chameleon and chamomile are also related etymologically to another earthly life form, one whose earthliness was contrasted with that of the gods. Greek khamai shares the same Indo-European root, *dhghem-, "earth," as the Latin words homō and hūmōnus, the source of English Homo sapiens and human.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Animals) 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
2. a changeable or fickle person
[C14: from Latin chamaeleon, from Greek khamaileōn, from khamai on the ground + leōn lion]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
cha•me•le•on(kəˈmi li ən, -ˈmil yən)
1. any Old World lizard of the family Chamaeleontidae, slow moving, with a projectile tongue and the ability to change color.
3. a changeable or fickle person.
[1300–50; Middle English camelion < Middle French < Latin chamaeleon < Greek chamailéōn=chamaí on the ground (akin to humus) + léōn lion]
cha•me`le•on′ic (-ˈɒn ɪk) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. Any of various small lizards of the Eastern Hemisphere, having the ability to change color rapidly to blend in with their surroundings and large eyes that move independently of each other.
2. Any of various small lizards of the Western Hemisphere that can also change their color.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||chameleon - a changeable or inconstant person|
|2.||Chameleon - a faint constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere near Apus and Mensa|
|3.||chameleon - lizard of Africa and Madagascar able to change skin color and having a projectile tongue|
lizard - relatively long-bodied reptile with usually two pairs of legs and a tapering tail
Chamaeleonidae, Chamaeleontidae, family Chamaeleonidae, family Chamaeleontidae, family Rhiptoglossa, Rhiptoglossa - Old World chameleons; in some classifications they are considered a superfamily of Sauria
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
chameleon[kəˈmiːlɪən] N → camaleón m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
chameleon[kəˈmiːliən] n (= animal) → caméléon m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
n (Zool, fig) → Chamäleon nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
chameleon[kəˈmiːlɪən] n → camaleonte m
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
a small lizard which is able to change colour. verkleurmannetjie, trapsuutjies حِرْباء хамелеон camaleão chameleon das Chamäleon kamæleon χαμαιλέων camaleón kameeleon مارمولکی که رنگ پوستش را تغییر می دهد kameleontti caméléonזיקית गिर्गिट kameleon kaméleon bunglon kameljón camaleonte カメレオン 카멜레온 chameleonas hameleons sesumpah kameleonkameleonkameleon كربوړى: هر دم خياله سړى camaleão cameleon хамелеон chameleón kameleon kameleon kameleont สัตว์จำพวกกิ้งก่า bukalemun 變色蜥蜴，變色龍 хамелеон گرگٹ tắc kè hoa 变色蜥蜴，变色龙
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.