From Middle English camelion, from Old French cameleon, from Latin chamaeleon, from Ancient Greek χαμαιλέων (khamaileōn), from χαμαί (khamai, “on the earth, on the ground”) + λέων (leon, “lion”). Spelling relatinized early 18c.
chameleon (plural chameleons)
- A small to mid-size reptile, of the family Chamaeleonidae, and one of the best known lizard families able to change color and project its long tongue.
- A person with inconstant behavior; one able to quickly adjust to new circumstances.
- (physics) A hypothetical scalar particle with a non-linear self-interaction, giving it an effective mass that depends on its environment: the presence of other fields.
chameleon (not comparable)
- chameleon in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- chameleon in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- ^ “chameleon” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online
- ^ “chameleon” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
- ^ “chameleon” in MacMillan Dictionary, American edition; “chameleon” in MacMillan Dictionary, British edition