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[lahy-uh-nahyz] /ˈlaɪ əˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), lionized, lionizing.
to treat (a person) as a celebrity:
to lionize the visiting poet.
British. to visit or exhibit the objects of interest of (a place).
verb (used without object), lionized, lionizing.
to pursue celebrities or seek their company.
British. to visit the objects of interest of a place.
Also, especially British, lionise.
Origin of lionize
First recorded in 1800-10; lion + -ize
Related forms
lionization, noun
lionizer, noun
unlionized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lionise
Historical Examples
  • They tried to lionise me in drawing rooms and make me talk for their entertainment.

    The Shrieking Pit Arthur J. Rees
  • I had only met her once before, but she took it into her head to lionise me.

  • He goes very little into society and no one possibly could lionise him.

    Mrs. Balfame

    Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • Fashionable London was never able to 'lionise' Bohemian Borrow.

    The Story of Seville Walter M. Gallichan
  • She was in London again in 1851, and was dismayed by the attempts to lionise her.

    The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX. Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
  • People are now pleased not only to meet artists socially, but to lionise them as well.

    Memoirs of an American Prima Donna Clara Louise Kellogg
  • I should feel very uncomfortable at the present time if I had, up till now, done nothing but lionise.

    An Autobiography Elizabeth Butler
  • Further on they stumbled over a small boy from the charity school who wished to lionise them over the whole building.

    The History of David Grieve Mrs. Humphry Ward
British Dictionary definitions for lionise


(transitive) to treat as or make into a celebrity
Derived Forms
lionization, lionisation, noun
lionizer, lioniser, noun
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 lionise



"to treat (someone) as a celebrity," a hybrid from lion + -ize. Used by Scott, 1809, and preserving lion in the sense of "person of note who is much sought-after" (1715), originally in reference to the lions formerly kept in the Tower of London (referred to from late 16c.), objects of general curiosity that every visitor in town was taken to see. Related: Lionized; lionizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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