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Leo

[ lee-oh ]
/ ˈli oʊ /
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noun, genitive Le·o·nis [lee-oh-nis] /liˈoʊ nɪs/ for 1.
Astronomy. the Lion, a zodiacal constellation between Virgo and Cancer, containing the bright star Regulus.
Astrology.
  1. the fifth sign of the zodiac: the fixed fire sign.
  2. a person born under this sign, usually between July 23rd and August 22nd.
a male given name: from a Greek word meaning “lion.”

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

MORE ABOUT LEO

What does Leo mean?

Leo is the name of a constellation that is interpreted as representing a lion. It’s sometimes referred to as The Lion.

A constellation is a group of stars that appear near each other in the sky—especially a group that has been given a name. Leo is considered one of the 12 zodiacal constellations—constellations that appear within a particular portion of the sky called the zodiac.

In astronomy, the zodiac is the band of sky along which the paths of the sun, the moon, and the planets appear to move.

Despite its basis in astronomy, the word zodiac is mainly associated with and most often used in the context of astrology, the nonscientific practice in which the positions of heavenly bodies at certain times are thought to influence or be correlated with human behavior and events. In astrology, zodiac refers to a diagram (often a circular one) representing the zodiac belt and showing the symbols associated with each of the 12 constellations or sections, which are called the signs of the zodiac. Leo is one of these signs. It is situated between Cancer and Virgo and is considered the fifth sign of the zodiac.

The other signs of the zodiac are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

The position of the sun in a particular portion of the zodiac at the moment of a person’s birth is thought to correlate with their personality. This is what people are referring to when they talk about their zodiac sign (or star sign or often just sign). People whose sign is Leo are those born between July 23 and August 22.

The word Leo can be used as a noun to refer to someone who is born during this time, as in I was born in early August, so I’m a Leo. The word Leonian can be used to mean the same thing. It can also be used as an adjective form of Leo.

Leo is also a given name, traditionally a male one.

Example: Oh, your birthday is in August? Are you a Leo?

Where does Leo come from?

Leo comes from Greek, from a word meaning lion. It is often used in stories as the name for a lion character.

In astrology, the different signs of the zodiac are thought to be associated with certain personality traits. Traits associated with Leo include competitiveness and bravery (probably due to being considered lionhearted). Leo and the other signs of the zodiac are often used in the context of a person’s horoscope. The word horoscope can refer to a diagram of the heavens that maps the relative position of planets and the signs of the zodiac. It can also refer to a prediction based (or said to be based) on a person’s sign and the location of other celestial bodies at the time they were born.

Get more insight into what really defines a Leo by visiting our article on the many traits of Leos. 

Did you know … ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with Leo

What are some words that often get used in discussing Leo?

How is Leo used in real life?

The word Leo is used to refer to the constellation or the sign of the zodiac named after the constellation. In the context of astrology, people associate a number of different traits with the sign Leo.

Try using Leo!

True or False?

Leos are born in December.

How to use Leo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Leo (1 of 3)

Leo1
/ (ˈliːəʊ) /

noun
a name for a lion, used in children's tales, fables, etc

Word Origin for Leo

from Latin: lion

British Dictionary definitions for Leo (2 of 3)

Leo2
/ (ˈliːəʊ) /

noun Latin genitive Leonis (liːˈəʊnɪs)
astronomy a zodiacal constellation in the N hemisphere, lying between Cancer and Virgo on the ecliptic, that contains the star Regulus and the radiant of the Leonid meteor shower
astrology
  1. Also called: the Lion the fifth sign of the zodiac, symbol ♌, having a fixed fire classification and ruled by the sun. The sun is in this sign between about July 23 and Aug 22
  2. a person born during a period when the sun is in this sign
adjective
astrology born under or characteristic of Leo
Also (for senses 2b, 3): Leonian (liːˈəʊnɪən)

British Dictionary definitions for Leo (3 of 3)

LEO

abbreviation for
low earth orbit
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

Scientific definitions for Leo

Leo
[ lēō ]

A constellation in the Northern Hemisphere near Cancer and Virgo. Leo (the Lion) contains the bright star Regulus and is the fifth sign of the zodiac.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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