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

For weeks, many have suspected that Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's daughter is the voice behind the gorgeous gilded lion costume. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Rumer Willis Confirms If She's the Lion on 'The Masked Singer'," 28 Jan. 2019 Or this is my path home to safety, versus this is the path to the lion’s den. James Taranto, WSJ, "How to Store Data Along Memory Lane," 18 Jan. 2019 In 2015, the park reintroduced lions and in 2017, the rare East black rhinoceros. Nina Sovich, WSJ, "Secret Safaris: Little-Known National Parks in Africa," 22 Feb. 2019 Another noted her zodiac sign is a Leo, which of course, is a lion. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Rumer Willis Confirms If She's the Lion on 'The Masked Singer'," 28 Jan. 2019 For the next phase of the research, the team collected severed cat tongues from six different species: a domestic cat, a bobcat, a cougar, a snow leopard, a tiger, and a lion. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Science says your cat’s tongue is ideally suited for grooming fur," 28 Dec. 2018 Predators such as lions and leopards and hyena stalk them. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Beauty Bonus: Intense eyelashes will complement this bold dress, and keep that signature Leo lion’s mane tame with a detangling brush. Alanna Greco, Seventeen, "Exactly What to Wear to Prom, According to Your Sign," 11 Mar. 2019 After dinner, the lion dancers led guests out of the tent and onto Café Chiu for dessert. David Nash, Town & Country, "How to Throw the Ultimate Chinese New Year Celebration," 22 Feb. 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

23 Apr 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

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