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 In the years after Watergate, many of these lawmakers would be lionized for their role in the hearings, prioritizing constitutional duty over politics. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "Republicans Defending Trump on Impeachment Should Fear the Judgment of History," 2 Dec. 2019 And a local journalist of Pakistani descent, Nabela Qoser, has been lionized by protesters for her rapid-fire, take-no-prisoners approach to grilling government officials (link in Cantonese). Mary Hui, Quartz, "The “ghetto at the center of the world” is now a symbol of unity in Hong Kong’s protests," 24 Oct. 2019 But in a departure from the run-of-the-mill managerial dismissals, Maddon has been lionized by his former bosses since leaving. Paul Sullivan,, "Write Joe Maddon a thank-you note at his Wrigleyville restaurant, and, no, theyre not changing the name," 9 Oct. 2019 Several early teen soldiers are still lionized in Mexico for their doomed bravery against American troops in the 1847 Battle of Chapultepec. Daniel Lee, National Review, "Greta Thunberg and Samantha Smith: Propaganda Poster Girls," 2 Oct. 2019 Humphrey said her father should have faced consequences but instead was lionized by Mercy Corps, which until Monday featured warm tributes to Culver on its website and on the walls of its headquarters. Beth Nakamura, The Oregonian -, "NOMERCY," 8 Oct. 2019 The hackers are arrested, lionized, and demonized by bloggers and the press., "Caleb Crain’s ‘Overthrow’ a political thriller with a radical spirit," 22 Aug. 2019 On Sunday, message threads lionizing the recent mass shooters were eclipsed by 8chan users mourning Cloudflare’s decision. NBC News, "Network provider Cloudflare to drop 8chan after El Paso shooting," 5 Aug. 2019 Müller’s work lionized the invaders’ northern origins, which dovetailed into the early evolution of Nordicism, the pseudo-anthropological notion of a Nordic master race that would become a cornerstone of Nazi ideology. Myke Cole, The New Republic, "The Sparta Fetish Is a Cultural Cancer," 1 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for lionize

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The first known use of lionize was in 1809

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Statistics for lionize

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Lionize.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for lionize


How to pronounce lionize (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lionize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lionize

Spanish Central: Translation of lionize

Nglish: Translation of lionize for Spanish Speakers

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