lionize

verb
li·​on·​ize | \ ˈlī-ə-ˌnīz How to pronounce lionize (audio) \
lionized; lionizing

Definition of lionize

transitive verb

: to treat as an object of great interest or importance

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Other Words from lionize

lionization \ ˌlī-​ə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce lionization (audio) \ noun
lionizer \ ˈlī-​ə-​ˌnī-​zər How to pronounce lionizer (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

The lion is traditionally regarded as the king of beasts, and perhaps rightly so - the lion is brave, stately, and quite often ferocious. Those qualities that earn the lion respect from other creatures were probably in people's minds when, in the 18th century, lion came to be used for a person who is similarly well-regarded, especially after a long and distinguished career in a particular field. A veteran lawmaker might be considered one of the lions of the Senate; a literary lion has enjoyed a long career as a successful writer. This sense of lion forms the basis of lionize, which first appeared in English in the early 19th century.

Examples of lionize in a Sentence

She was lionized everywhere after her novel won the Pulitzer Prize.

Recent Examples on the Web

This combo of old English rock dudes and young operatic American Idol singer was already a hot commodity before the Bohemian Rhapsody movie lionized Freddie Mercury and turned him into a bigger box office phenomenon than anticipated. Dan Deluca, https://www.inquirer.com, "The summer’s biggest concerts in Philadelphia, from the Rolling Stones to Made in America," 5 June 2019 The Belle just happened to be the one made famous, thanks to newspaper reporters eager to lionize some war heroes, and to Hollywood director William Wyler, who decided to build a documentary around the 25th mission. Washington Post, "Memphis Belle’s rebirth: Rehabbed WWII bomber rolling out," 13 May 2018 Without lionizing, ostracizing or enabling MBS, Mr. Pompeo needs to get to the heart of the matter: Saudi insecurity. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Don’t Ditch Riyadh in a Fit of Righteousness," 15 Oct. 2018 Even after he was rewarded and lionized — he was given a Guggenheim fellowship in 1973, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters award in 1990, a MacArthur fellowship in 1991 and the Kyoto Prize in 2014 — his music was not easy to quantify. Ben Ratliff, New York Times, "Cecil Taylor, Pianist Who Defied Jazz Orthodoxy, Is Dead at 89," 6 Apr. 2018 The septuagenarian now controls Libya’s eastern half, lionized by those who support his vanquishing of Islamist insurgents and reviled by those who have documented the use of torture, extrajudicial killing and disappearances by his forces. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Libyan Warlord Embraced by Foreign Leaders as a Key to Peace," 3 Dec. 2018 He's lionized for advocating a heliocentric view of our solar system, spurning Church doctrine and becoming a heretic. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Newfound Galileo Letter Suggests He Lied to Dupe the Church and Avoid Persecution," 25 Sep. 2018 But even as Uribe was lionized by millions in Colombia, his record on human rights was under fire. Washington Post, "Colombia presidential front-runner dogged by mentor’s shadow," 14 June 2018 Penning visceral verses about the ugly truths of jealousy and overcoming his insecurities as an openly gay black man, Smollett is morphing into a force bigger than his epochal character Jamal Lyons, who is lionized by TV junkies. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Jussie Smollett on His New Album 'Sum of My Music' & Taking Ownership of His Life: 'I've Never Sold Myself to Anybody'," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lionize.' 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 lionize

1809, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near lionize

lion-hunter

lionise

lionism

lionize

lion lizard

lionly

lion-mask

Statistics for lionize

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lionize

The first known use of lionize was in 1809

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More Definitions for lionize

lionize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of lionize

: to treat (someone) as a very important and famous person

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More from Merriam-Webster on lionize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lionize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lionize

Spanish Central: Translation of lionize

Nglish: Translation of lionize for Spanish Speakers

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