Pronunciation: (prō'tē-us, -tyOOs), [key]
1. Class. Myth.a sea god, son of Oceanus and Tethys, noted for his ability to assume different forms and to prophesy.
2. a person or thing that readily changes appearance, character, principles, etc.
3. (l.c.) Bacteriol.any of several rod-shaped, aerobic bacteria of the genus Proteus, sometimes found as pathogens in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts of humans.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.