Definition of leonine
: of, relating to, suggestive of, or resembling a lion
leonine was our Word of the Day on 01/22/2012. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of leonine in a Sentence
a leonine mane of hair
Did You Know?
Leonine derives from Latin leo, meaning "lion," which in turn comes from Greek lēon. "Lēon" gave us an interesting range of words: "leopard" (which is "lēon" combined with "pardos," a Greek word for a panther-like animal); "dandelion" (which came by way of the Anglo-French phrase dent de lion - literally, "lion's tooth"); and "chameleon" (which uses the combining form from Greek that means "on the ground"); as well as the names "Leon" and "Leonard." But the dancer's and gymnast's leotard is not named for its wearer's cat-like movements. Rather, it was simply named after its inventor, Jules Leotard, a 19th-century French aerial gymnast.
Origin and Etymology of leonine
Middle English, from Latin leoninus, from leon-, leo
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
LEONINE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of leonine for English Language Learners
: of, relating to, or resembling a lion
Medical Definition of leonine
: of or relating to leprotic leontiasis
Learn More about leonine
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up leonine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).