Adjective "protean" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Tending or able to change frequently or easily.
  1. 'The differential diagnosis of the mild seroconversion illness is protean and, without a high index of suspicion and a history indicating relevant risk behaviours or factors, the diagnosis may be missed.'
  2. 'The boundaries of its, and its historians ’, concerns have been flexible, even protean.'
  3. 'Such values are flexible, protean in nature, varying even from film to film.'
  4. 'It is a protean creature, an uncertain character capable of fluctuating under pressure.'
  5. 'Nature is more protean than Bacon dreamed: Proteus merely assumes different shapes; nature shifts between whole realities.'
  6. 'Just as the actor animated different trappings in different situations in the same play, and in different plays at different times, the soul animated the protean body through all its changes.'
  7. 'They begin by turning the motion on its head, asserting that a reactive foreign policy dangerously ignores the reality of a post cold war world in which the lines of conflict have become protean and subject to unpredictable change.'
  8. 'We are all in search of ways of approaching this protean subject; neither metaphor alone nor purely mechanistic interpretations take us very far.'
  9. 'His respect for ‘evidence’ is both an acknowledgment of its multifaceted and protean nature and an expression of gratitude for the materials it supplies.'
  10. 'Sexuality appears to be a protean, shifting concept because it is instantiated at multiple levels.'
  11. 'protean thinkers who scan the horizons of work and society'
  12. 'These served to introduce a group of works from the 1940s, mainly not exhibited at the Addison, but characteristic of the protean, notoriously late blooming painter's many guises.'
  13. 'His protean ability to assume different roles in his poems is often described as theatrical.'


1. readily assuming different forms or characters; extremely variable.

2. changeable in shape or form, as an amoeba.

3. (of an actor or actress) versatile; able to play many kinds of roles.

4. (initial capital letter) of, relating to, or suggestive of Proteus.

More examples(as adjective)

"pcts can be protean."

"works can be protean."

"variations can be protean."

"tools can be protean."

"thinkers can be protean."

More examples++


Late 16th century: from Proteus + -an.