lion

noun
li·​on | \ ˈlī-ən How to pronounce lion (audio) \
plural lions

Definition of lion

1a 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 sense 1
c capitalized : leo
2a : 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

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Other Words from lion

lionlike \ ˈlī-​ən-​ˌlīk How to pronounce lionlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of lion in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

The lion’s share will target the state’s homeless population, including $650 million in grants for cities and counties to build and maintain emergency shelters and $100 million for wrap-around care for the state’s most vulnerable residents. Laurel Rosenhall, The Mercury News, "California just passed a $215 billion budget. Here’s what’s between the lines.," 14 June 2019 Local game rangers agree that lions are opportunists. Fox News, "Dozens of lions free to roam free near South African town: 'You don't really go jogging or riding a bicycle here'," 14 June 2019 For example, just two firms take in the lion’s share of online ad spending. Time, "U.S. Antitrust Chief Sketches How He'll Assess Big Tech," 12 June 2019 Though lions prowled restlessly outside our tent at night, the real danger turned out to be the high-speed drives in an open jeep while our guide dodged giant potholes and meandering animals, all while talking on his phone. Jay L. Zagorsky, Quartz, "It’s more dangerous to live in America than to travel abroad," 12 June 2019 Capture the sun rising above the crater wall, and zoom in on flocks of flamingos, bathing hippos, large herds of zebras, prancing antelope, elusive rhinos, and lions resting up for the nighttime hunt. National Geographic, "Tanzania High School Photography Workshop," 12 June 2019 Invest in 24 elite English athletes who love representing YOU, who feel nothing but complete pride in wearing the three lions. SI.com, "An Address to the Lazy & Ill-Informed ​'No One Cares About Women's Football' Brigade," 12 June 2019 The late liberal lion Ted Kennedy, who also sat on the committee, praised Barr's career in government and was among those who voted 14-0 to unanimously recommend that Barr be confirmed. Bo Erickson, CBS News, "In the 1990s, Joe Biden said William Barr was "one of the best" attorneys general," 11 June 2019 The lion is a nod to London Rose's birthday —August 20, 2014 — and her sign. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Carson Daly's Tattoos Have Some Pretty Wild Backstories," 8 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of lion

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lion

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

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Statistics for lion

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lion

The first known use of lion was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for lion

lion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lion

: a large wild cat that has golden brown fur and that lives mainly in Africa
: a very important, powerful, or successful person

lion

noun
li·​on | \ ˈlī-ən How to pronounce lion (audio) \

Kids Definition of lion

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on lion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lion

Spanish Central: Translation of lion

Nglish: Translation of lion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lion

Comments on lion

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