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

Rumbling in on a train from Providence, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey were bringing lions, elephants and a high-wire act, clowns and a gorilla named Gargantua to the capital city of Hartford. Mark Mirko, courant.com, "Interactive map: How the Hartford circus fire started, spread and was seen through the eyes of those who were there," 27 June 2019 Driving between his properties in Zambia back in 2010, Green Safaris’ founder Vincent Kouwenhoven’s eureka moment came when switching off his Land Rover to watch a pack of lions. Lee Middleton, Quartz Africa, "Luxury safaris are trying to reinvent by getting greener and curbing an “Out of Africa” culture," 14 June 2019 The last thing Biden needed was to walk into a den of super-liberal lions. Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Elizabeth Warren can win the nomination. California is key," 8 June 2019 With tall columns and sculptures of lions, the Light of the World church in East L.A. looms large over what neighbors have described as a relatively quiet area. Ruben Vives, latimes.com, "La Luz del Mundo church leader held on $50-million bail in rape, child porn case," 5 June 2019 Watching a pride of lions successfully hunt some warthogs. Meredith Heuer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Katie Ermilio & Tylee Abbott's Wedding Turned Pennsylvania into the English Countryside—on a Horse Farm," 29 Apr. 2019 Anyone with information on the latest theft of concrete lions is asked to call 502-574-5673 (LMPD). Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "The gnome thief is gone but now Louisville police are searching for a concrete lion thief," 23 Apr. 2019 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

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

2 Jul 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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