proteus

play
noun pro·te·us \ ˈprō-tē-əs \

Definition of proteus

plural -tei \-tē-ˌī\
: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

Recent Examples of proteus from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proteus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of proteus

New Latin, from Latin, Proteus


Proteus

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

Definition of Proteus

:a Greek sea god capable of assuming different forms

Recent Examples of proteus from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'Proteus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of proteus

Latin, from Greek Prōteus


Medical Dictionary

proteus

play
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 play \-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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