• Tending or able to change frequently or easily.
  • Able to do many different things; versatile.

Get a new word in your inbox every day.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Example Sentences

“The superhero was a valuable member of the team, with his protean ability to shapeshift into any figure.”

“The artist’s protean skills meant that you never knew what style of work you would see at her next show.”

“I’ve developed a protean set of skills through the many types of jobs I’ve held over the years.”

Word Origin

Greek, late 16th century

Why this word?

The adjective “protean” comes from the Greek god Proteus, who had the ability to change shapes and knew all things — past, present, and future. This sea god had the power of prophecy, but he didn’t like to answer questions. When people came calling, he would assume different shapes in order to avoid would-be captors.

  • More brands you’ll love

    Elevate Your Everyday

    More brands you’ll love

    Elevate Your Everyday

    Subscribe to Better Report to receive tips and tricks that will save you money, maximize your time, and improve your life.

    Subscribe to Better Report
    By clicking “Subscribe” you’re agreeing to Better Report Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Learn a new word Pastiche