Today’s Word: PROTEAN | WakaWaka Reporters
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Today’s Word: PROTEAN

Protean: \PROH-tee-uh n, proh-TEE-\


  1. Readily assuming different forms or characters; extremely variable.
  2. Changeable in shape or form, as an amoeba.


A genius for the ages, a man who played wonderful yet, sometimes outrageous changes with art, Pablo Picasso remains without doubt, the most original, the most protean and the most forceful personality in the visual arts in the first three-quarters of this century.

— Alden Whitman, “Picasso: Protean and Prodigious, the Greatest Single Force in 70 Years of Art,” New York Times, April 9, 1973


Protean comes from Proteus, the name of a sea god of classical mythology who was noted for his ability to assume different forms and to prophesy. It entered English in the late 1500s.