lion

noun li·on \ ˈlī-ən \

Definition of lion

plural lions
1 a or plural lion :a large heavily built social cat (Panthera leo) of open or rocky areas chiefly of sub-Saharan Africa though once widely distributed throughout Africa and southern Asia that has a tawny body with a tufted tail and a shaggy blackish or dark brown mane in the male
b :any of several large wildcats; especially :cougar 1
c capitalized :leo
2 a :a person felt to resemble a lion (as in courage or ferocity)
b :a person of outstanding interest or importance
  • a literary lion
3 capitalized
[Lions (club)]
:a member of a major national and international service club

lionlike

play \ˈlī-ən-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of lion in a Sentence

  1. the roar of the lion

  2. He was a literary lion among the writers of his time.

Recent Examples of lion from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of lion

Middle English lioun, from Anglo-French leun, lion, from Latin leon-, leo, from Greek leōn


LION Defined for English Language Learners

lion

noun

Definition of lion for English Language Learners

  • : a large wild cat that has golden brown fur and that lives mainly in Africa

  • : a very important, powerful, or successful person


LION Defined for Kids

lion

noun li·on \ ˈlī-ən \

Definition of lion for Students

:a large meat-eating animal of the cat family that has a brownish buff coat, a tufted tail, and in the male a shaggy mane and that lives in Africa and southern Asia


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