chameleon

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Cha·me·leon

 (kə-mēl′yən, -mē′lē-ən)
n.
Variant of Chamaeleon.

cha·me·leon

 (kə-mēl′yən, -mē′lē-ən)
n.
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.

chameleon

(kəˈmiːlɪən)
n
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]
chameleonic adj
chaˈmeleon-ˌlike adj

cha•me•le•on

(kəˈmi li ən, -ˈmil yən)

n.
1. any Old World lizard of the family Chamaeleontidae, slow moving, with a projectile tongue and the ability to change color.
2. anole.
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.
cha•me′le•on•like`, adj.

cha·me·leon

(kə-mēl′yən)
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chameleon - a changeable or inconstant personchameleon - a changeable or inconstant person  
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
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
African chameleon, Chamaeleo chamaeleon - a chameleon found in Africa
Chamaeleo oweni, horned chameleon - a kind of chameleon
Translations
حرباءحِرْباء
chameleon
kamæleon
kameleontti
kaméleon
kameljón
chameleonas
hameleons
chameleón
kameleon

chameleon

[kəˈmiːlɪən] Ncamaleón m

chameleon

[kəˈmiːliən] n (= animal) → caméléon m

chameleon

n (Zool, fig) → Chamäleon nt

chameleon

[kəˈmiːlɪən] ncamaleonte m

chameleon

(kəˈmiːliən) noun
a small lizard which is able to change colour.
References in periodicals archive ?
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