Definition of American lion
1 : cougar sense 1
2 : an extinct large cat (Panthera leo atrox synonym Panthera atrox) known from Pleistocene deposits found in America that resembled but was larger than the closely related African lion (Panthera leo) Among them are the skull and other bones of a prehistoric American lion, a species that is believed to have been about one-third larger than present-day African lions …— Edward Wyatt, New York Times, 19 Feb. 2009
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