protean was our Word of the Day on 02/18/2017. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of protean in a Sentence
a protean actor who is equally comfortable with light comedy and serious drama
Recent Examples of protean from the Web
Less than a decade old, this protean object has become the universal, all-but-indispensable mediator of everyday life.
Performances and a traveling exhibit will focus on multiple aspects of his protean career.
An esteemed soprano saxophonist and N.E.A. Jazz Master, Mr. Liebman, 70, has recently been working with Expansions, a spry, protean quintet.
Those who follow Mr. Vongerichten know the chef to be a protean shape-shifter.
Liberal democracy too is a protean concept that today needs a considerable amount of clarifying.
Today’s debate about fiscal union and debt mutualization obscures the fact that the eurozone already has protean versions of both.
Large, jaunty and seductively arresting, qualities the artist would achieve throughout his protean career, these acrobatic pieces bear another important sign of things to come.
Michelangelo’s protean talent helped the patrons and pontiffs who admired his work to indulge his dyspeptic nature.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'protean.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Proteus was the original master of disguise. According to Greek mythology, the grizzled old shepherd of Poseidon's sea creatures possessed the gift of prophecy but didn't like to share his knowledge. Proteus would escape those who wanted to question him by changing his shape. The only way to get a straight answer from him was to sneak up behind him during his midday nap and hold onto him (while he frantically changed from shape to shape) until he eventually revealed what he knew. The adjective "protean" describes anyone or anything that is as mutable and adaptable as the mythological shepherd.
First Known Use of protean
Synonymsadaptable, all-around (also all-round), versatile, universal
Related Wordsgeneral-purpose, mixed-use, multipurpose; well-rounded; able, ace, adept, experienced, expert, masterful, proficient, skilled, skillful; adjustable, alterable, changeable, elastic, flexible, fluid, malleable, modifiable, plastic, pliable, pliant, supple, variable
Near Antonymslimited; amateur, inexperienced
PROTEAN Defined for English Language Learners
medical Definition of protean
Learn More about protean
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for protean
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up protean? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).