proteus

noun (1)
pro·​te·​us | \ ˈprō-tē-əs How to pronounce proteus (audio) \
plural protei\ ˈprō-​tē-​ˌī How to pronounce proteus (audio) \

Definition of proteus

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

Proteus

noun (2)
Pro·​teus | \ ˈprō-ˌtyüs How to pronounce Proteus (audio) , -tē-əs, -ˌtüs How to pronounce Proteus (audio) \

Definition of Proteus (Entry 2 of 2)

: a Greek sea god capable of assuming different forms

First Known Use of proteus

Noun (1)

1896, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for proteus

Noun (1)

New Latin, from Latin, Proteus

Noun (2)

Latin, from Greek Prōteus

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Time Traveler for proteus

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The first known use of proteus was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near proteus

protestation

proteus

Proteus

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Cite this Entry

“Proteus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proteus. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for proteus

proteus

noun
pro·​te·​us | \ ˈprōt-ē-əs How to pronounce proteus (audio) \

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 protei\ -​ˌī How to pronounce proteus (audio) \ : any bacterium of the genus Proteus

More from Merriam-Webster on proteus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about proteus

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