Chameleon Cha*me"le*on (k[.a]*m[=e]"l[-e]*[u^]n), n. [L. Chamaeleon, Gr. chamaile`wn, lit., ``ground lion;'' chamai` on the ground + le`wn lion. See {Humble}, and {Lion}.] (Zo["o]l.) 1. A lizardlike reptile of the genus {Cham[ae]leo}, of several species, found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The skin is covered with fine granulations; it has eyes which can move separately, the tail is prehensile, and the body is much compressed laterally, giving it a high back. It is remarkable for its ability to change the color of its skin to blend with its surroundings. [Also sometimes spelled {chamaeleon}.] [1913 Webster +PJC]

Note: Its color changes more or less with the color of the objects about it, or with its temper when disturbed. In a cool, dark place it is nearly white, or grayish; on admitting the light, it changes to brown, bottle-green, or blood red, of various shades, and more or less mottled in arrangment. The American chameleons belong to {Anolis} and allied genera of the family {Iguanid[ae]}. They are more slender in form than the true chameleons, but have the same power of changing their colors. [1913 Webster]

2. a person who changes opinions, ideas, or behavior to suit the prevailing social climate; an opportunist. [PJC]

{Chameleon mineral} (Chem.), the compound called {potassium permanganate}, a dark violet, crystalline substance, {KMnO4}, which in formation passes through a peculiar succession of color from green to blue, purple, red, etc. See {Potassium permanganate}, under {Potassium}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chamaeleon — Nombre Latino Chamaeleon Abreviatura Cha …   Wikipedia Español

  • chamaeleon — n. [L. Chamaeleon, Gr. chamaile wn, lit., ground lion; chamai on the ground + le wn lion.] (Zo[ o]l.) a lizard of Africa and Madagascar able to change skin color and having a projectile tongue. Syn: chameleon. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chamaeleon — n. (Astronomy) a small constellation in the southern skies between Hydrus and Musca. Syn: Chameleon. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chamaeleon — [kə mē′lē ən] n. [L, see CHAMELEON] a S constellation near the celestial pole …   English World dictionary

  • Chamaeleon — For the type of lizard, see chameleon. For other uses, see chameleon (disambiguation). Chamaeleon Constellation List of stars in Chamaeleon Abbreviation Cha …   Wikipedia

  • CHAMAELEON — I. CHAMAELEON commentarios libros in vatios Poetas edidit, nimirum eum εν τῷ περὶ Α᾿νακρέοντος citat Athenaeus, l. 12. Item, l. 13. περὶ Σαπφοῦς, et περὶ Σιμωνίδος. Ad haec περὶ Θεςπίδος Michael Apostolius, proverbiô, οὐδὲν πρὸς Διόνυσον. Idem… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Chamaeleon — noun A small circumpolar constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble a chamaeleon. It lies south of the constellations Carina and Musca …   Wiktionary

  • chamaeleon — noun lizard of Africa and Madagascar able to change skin color and having a projectile tongue • Syn: ↑chameleon • Hypernyms: ↑lizard • Hyponyms: ↑African chameleon, ↑Chamaeleo chamaeleon, ↑horned chameleon, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chamaeleon — Das Wort Chamäleon, auch Kamäleon geschrieben, hat die folgenden Bedeutungen: in der Biologie eine Familie innerhalb der Klasse der Reptilien, siehe Chamäleons in der Astronomie ein Sternbild, siehe Chamäleon (Sternbild) eine ARD Fernsehserie,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chamaeleon — /keuh mee lee euhn, meel yeuhn/, n., gen. Chamaeleontis / mee lee on tis/. Astron. a small southern constellation between Musca and Hydrus. Also, Chameleon. [ < L] * * * …   Universalium

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