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[lee-uh-nahyn] /ˈli əˌnaɪn/
of or relating to the lion.
resembling or suggestive of a lion.
(usually initial capital letter) of or relating to Leo, especially Leo IV or Leo XIII.
Origin of leonine
1350-1400; Middle English leonyn < Latin leōnīnus lionlike, equivalent to leōn- (stem of leō lion) + -īnus -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for leonine
Historical Examples
  • "Entirely," said the Great Actor, throwing his leonine head forward again.

    Frenzied Fiction Stephen Leacock
  • In the leonine eyes looking into hers gleamed the light of admiration and approval.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • The head was white-maned, leonine, with handsome florid features and sharp blue eyes.

    The Sensitive Man Poul William Anderson
  • And the first is a leonine Monster, and for its authority he quotes Rondeletius.

  • The club—judged by the leonine measure of success—as a club did little for learning or literary men.

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
  • "Nein," was his reply, with a shrug of the leonine shoulders.

    An American Girl Abroad Adeline Trafton
  • He was not only leonine in his majestic bearing, but in color also, for his hue was tawny, like that of the king of beasts.

    Vasco Nuez de Balboa Frederick Albion Ober
  • He was a poor, crippled man, with enormous vitality and a leonine head.

    The Eye of Dread Payne Erskine
  • By a man of powerful build, leonine mane, and roaring voice, whom Santerre was to find waiting in his brewery office—Danton.

    The Countess of Charny Alexandre Dumas (pere)
  • His heavy brows completed the leonine suggestion of his face.

British Dictionary definitions for leonine


of, characteristic of, or resembling a lion
Word Origin
C14: from Latin leōnīnus, from leō lion


connected with one of the popes called Leo
Leonine City, a district of Rome on the right bank of the Tiber fortified by Pope Leo IV
of or relating to certain prayers in the Mass prescribed by Pope Leo XIII
Also called Leonine verse
  1. a type of medieval hexameter or elegiac verse having internal rhyme
  2. a type of English verse with internal rhyme
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for leonine

"lion-like," late 14c., from Old French leonin or directly from Latin leoninus "belonging to or resembling a lion," from leo (genitive leonis) "lion." Weekley thinks that Leonine verse (1650s), rhymed in the middle as well as the end of the line, probably is from the name of some medieval poet, perhaps Leo, Canon of St. Victor, Paris, 12c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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leonine in Medicine

leonine le·o·nine (lē'ə-nīn)
Of, relating to, or characteristic of a lion.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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