Dictionary

proteus

noun pro·te·us \ˈprō-tē-əs\
plural -tei \-tē-ˌī\

Definition of PROTEUS

:  any of a genus (Proteus) of aerobic usually motile enterobacteria that include saprophytes in decaying organic matter and a common causative agent (P. mirabilis) of urinary tract infections
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Origin of PROTEUS

New Latin, from Latin, Proteus
First Known Use: 1896

Proteus

noun Pro·teus \ˈprō-ˌtyüs, -tē-əs, -ˌtüs\

Definition of PROTEUS

:  a Greek sea god capable of assuming different forms

Origin of PROTEUS

Latin, from Greek Prōteus
First Known Use: 15th century
Medical Dictionary

proteus

noun pro·te·us \ˈprōt-ē-əs\

Medical Definition of PROTEUS

1
capitalized :  a genus of aerobic gram-negative bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae that ferment glucose but not lactose and decompose urea, that are usually motile by means of peritrichous flagella, and that include saprophytes in decaying organic matter and a common causative agent (P. mirabilis) of urinary tract infections
2
plural -tei \-ˌī\ :  any bacterium of the genus Proteus

Biographical Note for PROTEUS

Proteus, Greek mythological character. Proteus was an ancient god of the sea and sometimes identified as a son of Poseidon. His job was to herd Poseidon's flocks of seals and other sea creatures. Possessed of the gift of prophecy, he was generally unwilling to share his knowledge and would escape his questioners by assuming a variety of shapes, including fire and water and the forms of wild beasts.

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