I was sure that I had come across a word, which I have now forgotten, that describes someone taking on a characteristic that isn't a natural one but is a consequence of their environment.

An example might be that of a person who isn't, by nature, a driven, deadline-oriented [Type A] person, but has become so because they became a newspaper editor. In such a circumstance one would say that

The person is __________ a Type A person.

Reference to reverse thesauruses hasn't helped, which means that I have either been using the wrong search terms or the word I'm looking for doesn't exist.

  • Often a person can be said to have acquired characteristics from the environment that person is in. That is, in this case, an acquired personality. There may be other terms, though.
    – J. Taylor
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 14:06
  • 1
    "becoming," if you must have one word. "Projecting" might work also, suggesting it's more an act than a genuine trait.
    – Xanne
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 19:10
  • Manifesting comes close.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 20:37

5 Answers 5


chameleon. TFD

A changeable or inconstant person

As in:

"X is as a chameleon, doing surprisingly well in a Type A person's job."


One might say that 'a person is conformably a Type A person' meaning that they are not so of their own initiative but due to conformity to external influences.

Conformable : 1(of a person) disposed or accustomed to conform to what is acceptable.‘personalities conformable to the ambient level of cultural evolution’

Oxford Dictionary


"acclimate" or "acclimatize" (also spelled "acclimatise")


to accustom or become accustomed to a different climate, environment, or circumstances, as by physiological or psychological changes

origin: French acclimater: see ad- and climate

from Webster's New World College Dictionary, 5th ed via yourdictionary.com

According to grammarist.com, American users prefer "acclimate," British and Australians users prefer "acclimatise," and Canadian users prefer "acclimatize."


I'm not sure if you're looking for an adjective or a verb. If a verb, you could say that the person is metamorphosing into a Type A personality.

Metamorphose is defined as:

To change into a different form; alter or modify the shape or character of; transform; transmute.

Using this term would imply that the person was something else to begin with, and he is now changing. You might need to add something to the sentence to make it clear that it's the career that has been the influence that changed him: "After working as a newspaper editor for 5 years, he is metamorphosing into a Type A person."


"A person has learned to be a Type A person".

I know it's not a 1-word answer, but it is the most correct in English.

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