: to treat as an object of great interest or importance
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.
While her name was not attached to her books in her lifetime (she published anonymously), Jane Austen continues two centuries hence to be lionized as one of the English language's greatest novelists.
"The battle for Pointe du Hoc became one of the most heroic moments of the D-Day invasion. It was lionized by the legendary Hollywood film 'The Longest Day' and by President Ronald Reagan, who stood on this hallowed ground to deliver one of his most famous speeches, extolling the bravery of the 'Boys of Pointe du Hoc' on the 40th anniversary…." — Scott Higham, The Washington Post, 3 June 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
The cougar is a large, powerful, tawny-brown cat. Can you come up with four other names for the cougar?VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP